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"Certainly, count, I will take it; and I say
you are generousvery kind."

"That is finished, then," said Pomerin.
"Here, John" (he spoke now in English).
"Where are you?"

"All right, count," said a voice from the
crowd of lookers-on, in the genuine London
cabby tone; and a smartly-dressed groom, in
racing trim, stepped forward. He was, as to
size, a boy of ten, but when you looked into his
face you could read five-and-thirty. A neater,
more trimly-made little fellow I never saw. He
approached and patted the horse, who seemed
to welcome him as a dear friend.

"Now, John, just show them what he can
do in the other way," said the count. "We
have seen the lamb, now we will see the lion.
Only once over and back, John."

"All right, count."

We followed to the lawn in front of the
house, which was lighted up by pine-torches,
and found for what purpose the hurdles and
various other structures had been put up in
the lawn. The little groom (who was master
of the count's stud of best horses) put a racing
saddle and bridle on Nereckta, and sprang on
his back. Then commenced a scene of
galloping and leaping, the horse flitting round
the park like a swift bird. This ended the
performance, and when we returned to the
house to finish the evening, the ladies had

It appeared that Defour had obtained a
renewal of his lease or contract, on ridiculously
low terms, from the count's German steward,
who very likely pocketed a nice thing by the
transaction. Sanderson opened the count's
eyes to this, as well as many other tricks of the
steward. He endeavoured to get the Frenchman
to give up his lease, but in vain. Defour,
civilly obdurate, refuseduntil one day the
count found him and some of his men cruelly
lashing and training an obdurate young black
horse. He had been trying to tame this horse
for some time, and was only making the animal
worse. The count told him so, and said it was
his want of skill, not the fault of the horse, that
caused the failure. Now the Frenchman's
weak point was an overweening opinion of his
own skill in horse-flesh. The count,
intentionally or not, touched this point so hard, that
a bet was made, the end of which we have seen.
The count knew the horse, and admired him
and, in conjunction with his English groom, he
had soon conquered the temper, and gained
the affections of the animal, which was then
found to be peculiarly tractable and gentle.
Training commenced; many mock dinner-parties
had been held, and the horse gradually taught
the various movements we had seen. The result
was, two hundred roubles to the groom, the
horse became the property of the count, and
the Frenchman got a new lease on more equitable
terms. I saw another exhibition of the same
nature in a gentleman's house near St. Petersburg,
but it was somewhat less successful.
There is nothing that a young Russian noble
enjoys more than an affair of this kind, when
horses are, as they commonly are, his peculiar
and passionate delight.


    A WILD, wet night: the driving sleet
        Blurs all the lamps along the quay;
    The windows shake; the busy street
    Is still alive with hurrying feet;
        The wind raves from the sea.

    So let it rave! My lamp burns bright;
        My long day's work is almost done;
    I curtain out each sound and sight
    Of all nights in the year, to-night
        I choose to be alone.

    Alone, with doors and windows fast,
        Before my open desk I stand. . . .
    Alas! can twelve long months be past,
    My hidden, hidden wealth! since last
        I held thee in my hand?

    So, there it lies! From year to year
        I see the ribbon change; the page
    Turn yellower; and the very tear
    That blots the writing, disappear
        And fade away with age.

    Mine eyes grow dim when they behold
        The precious trifles hoarded there
    A ring of battered Indian gold,
    A withered bluebell, and a fold
        Of sunny chesnut hair.

    Not all the riches of the earth,
        Not all the treasures of the sea,
    Could buy these house-gods from my hearth;
    But yet, the secret of their worth
        Must live and die with me.


IT would be a curious thing to enter into an
examination of the various changes of condition
to which a man may be subjected in a
single day. He may get up in the morning
strong and well, and be put to bed at night
a cripple. He may get up rich and lie down
poor, or in the morning be a beggar and in
the evening a millionnaire. At six o'clock in
the forenoon he may be a father, and before
the clock has made its round he may be childless.
To take less exceptional cases, we know
that it is possible for any individual who feels
so disposed, to breakfast in Paris and dine in
London, or to stand in the morning in Cheapside
or the Strand, and in the evening by the dark
waters of a Westmoreland lake. The clergyman
is called away from the wedding-feast, to the
death-bed of a pauper; the doctor is in the
middle of a good story at his own dinner-table
when he is summoned to a garret, where good
stories and good dinners are equally unknown.

But surely one of the most extraordinary and
rapid changes of condition, is that experienced
by the traveller who shall journey, as fast as
wheels can carry him, from the western to the
eastern extremity of the metropolis at this most
brilliant moment of the great London season.
He starts at South Kensington. He passes rows
and rows of palaces. The open windows are full