+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

His proud owner laid aside his short pipe,
and proceeded to tug at the Roarer's head.
Seeing that this single effort was not
productive of any astonishing locomotion, an
experienced bystander was kind enough to
recommend the application of a sticka
recommendation which was promptly and
energetically acted upon. This happy
combination of incentives induced the Roarer
to clear his stall, and display his proportions
upon the course. Without more delay than
that usually necessary for the conscientious
administration of a preliminary cudgelling,
the Roarer left the starting-point. He
went as easily forward as the lameness in his
fore-leg would allow him. Gentlemen betted
familiar measures of malt and hops on his
chances of surviving the day's proceedings;
but, being continually reminded by the repeated
threats of his owner that it was the time
to display his prowess, the Roarer contrived,
at more than one point, to break into a trot;
shaking his entire anatomy. Without relenting
for a moment, however, the Roarer's
owner dogged his heels with an upraised
stick, at every jerk of which the hindquarters
of the animal sank. The Roarer
fetched no less than sixty shillings, including
a stipulated supply of beer to be paid for
by the fortunate purchaser, for the consumption
of the late owner, supposed to be
rendered melancholy by the loss of his noble

Considerable excitement was caused, at a
late period of the day, by the appearance of
Solemn Joe upon the course. This jet-black
steed was a particular favourite. His pace
was not so remarkable for its speed as for its
evenness. He still held his head erect, and
preserved all the grace of his fine contour.
It was reported by malicious detractors that
he was a bay mare that had tried " our infallible
hair-dye " only once. He was to be disposed
of without reserve; his owner having
relinquished the performance of funerals, and
entered upon the more cheerful business of
pastrycook. Solemn Joe fetched the
extraordinary sum of five poundsa false tail being
thrown into the bargain. His sire was a
famous trotter in his time (as a sporting
"nob " of Smithfield confidentially informed
us); and his hoofs were, after his death,
carved into snuff-boxes by his grateful owner.
Solemn Joe was bought by Mr. Muggins of
Clerkenwell (who had the funeral of a highly
genteel '' party " on hand, and wished to
create an impression in the neighbourhood),
and left the ground attached to the tail-board
of his new master's cart.

Other horses figured prominently in the
day's sport; and it would be possible to
lengthen out our notice of the scene considerably,
but we prefer to enlarge upon the most
interesting incidents, and to omit altogether
those which could not interest the sporting
world generally. The liberal minds that
preside over Smithfield Races, seeing, as all
enlightened men must see, that the turf is
one of the most valuable institutions of this
great country, and feeling that its privileges
should be extended to all classes of the
community, have opened their lists, not only to
horses, without regard to their age or to their
personal disabilities, but also to the donkey.
Hence the owners of horsesas Mr. Jem
Toddlesare confronted and compelled to
mix with the less fortunate possessors of
that animal, libelled in the popular song,
which has poetically imagined, for many
years, the extreme case that " it wouldn't

We made our way to the arenaa remote
corner of the groundset aside for the
exhibition of animal prowess. Here we at once
recognised many of the ladies whom we had
noticed on the road, still seated upon their
open vehicles; engaged, in some instances,
in the vigorous administration of summary
punishment to their offspring, or testing, with
an undisguised relish, the excellence of the
neighbouring beer-taps. The expressions of
admiration that burst from the lips of the
bystanders when, after severe castigation, and
a few suggestive hints from a pointed stick,
a donkey attained to a canter; the firmness
with which certain of the animals refused to
move a leg; the choice vocabulary and the keen
faces of the boys who had donkies for
disposal; are the prominent points of the donkey
scene that occur to us at the present moment.

But the road home claims a short description.
Horses of every kind, dejected by
every species of ailment, afflicted with the
most varied action, and presenting the most
melancholy contrasts, moved away at the
back of cartswere led slowly by serious
purchaserswere mounted by daring urchins,
whom we expected to see divided into two
equal pieces every time the animals trotted
or were harnessed in the most remarkable
vehicles. Pushing their way amid these
varieties of horse-flesh, donkeys were seen,
urged by the blows of vigorous costermongers
or their wives. The general conversation
with which the various travellers endeavoured
to enliven the journey, was of a technical
character, which few sporting men would
understand. Amid this din and bustle, we
were forced to remain some time, in the
course of which we learned that ten pounds
is a high price for a horse bought at Smithfield
Races. We also learned that the races
are held at the risk of many lives and limbs
of Her Majesty's liege subjects. We did not
learn that the Police, co-operating with the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, are the vigilant Stewards of the
Course; but we should be very happy to
receive the information. It is high time that
the law of kindness were extended to the
Brute creationmore brutally treated, but
too often, in England, than is good for an
Englishman's heart or an Englishman's