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A STRAGGLING street, an undue proportion of
inns, a large pond, a pump, and a magnificent
brick clock case, make upwith a few more
touches not necessary to be given herethe
picture of the metropolis of English racing
and the fountain of Epsom salts. For three
hundred and sixty-four days in the year a
cannon-ball might be fired from one end
of Epsom to the other without endangering
human life. On the three hundred and sixty-fifth,
or Derby Day, a population surges and
rolls, and scrambles through the place, that
may be counted in millions.

Epsom during the races, and Epsom at any
other time, are things as unlike as the Desert
of Saharah and the interior of the Palace of
Glass in Hyde Park. We intend, for the
edification of the few who know Epsom race
only by name, and for the amusement (we hope)
of the many who have sported over its Downs
during the races, to give some account of
Epsom under both aspects.

Our graver readers need not be alarmed
we know little of horses ; and, happily, for
ourselves, nothing of sporting ; but, believing in
the dictum of the Natural History chapters of
the Universal Spelling Book that the "horse is
a noble animal," and that he is nowhere so
noble, so well bred, so handsome, so tractable,
so intelligent, so well cared for, and so well
appreciated, as in this country; and that, in
consequence of the national fondness for races his
breed has been improved until he has attained
his present excellencybelieving all this,
we think it quite possible to do him justice,
without defiling the subject with any allusion
to the knavery to which he, sometimes,
innocently gives rise. Those who practise it
are his vulgar parasites; for the owners of
race-horses number among them the highest
and most honourable names in the country.

Financially, the subject is not unworthy of
notice. Racers give employment to
thousands. According to Captain Rous, there
are upwards of two hundred thorough-bred
stallions, and one thousand one hundred
brood mares, which produce about eight
hundred and thirty foals annually: of these
there are generally three in the first class of
race-horses, seven in the second class; and
they descend gradually in the scale to the
amount of four hundred and eighty, one half
of which never catch the judge's eye ; the
remainder are either not trained, or are found
unworthy at an early period.

The number of race-courses is one hundred
and eleven; of which three are in Ireland,
and six in Scotland.

It is Mondaythe Monday before the
Derby Day, and a railway takes us, in less
than an hour, from London Bridge to the
capital of the racing world, close to the abode
of its Great Man, who isneed we add!—  the
Clerk of the Epsom Course. It is, necessarily,
one of the best houses in the place; being
honour to literaturea flourishing bookseller's
shop. We are presented to the official. He
kindly conducts us to the Downs, to show
how the horses are temporarily stabled; to
initiate us into some of the mysteries of
the " field; " to reveal to us, in fact, the
private life of the race-horse.

We arrive at a neat farm-house, with more
outbuildings than are usually seen appended
to so modest a homestead. A sturdy,
well-dressed, well-mannered, purpose-like,
sensible-looking man, presents himself. He has a
Yorkshire accent. A few words pass between him
and the Clerk of the Course, in which we hear
the latter asseverate with much emphasis that
we are, in a sporting sense, quite artlesswe
rather think "green," was the exact expression
that we never bet a shilling, and are
quite incapable, if even willing, to take
advantage of any information, or of any inspection
vouchsafed to us. Mr. Filbert (the
trainer) hesitates no longer. He moves his
hat with honest politeness; bids us follow
him, and lays his finger on the latch of a

The trainer opens the door with one hand;
and, with a gentleman-like wave of the other,
would give us the precedence. We hesitate.
We would rather not go in first. We acknowledge
an enthusiastic admiration for the
racehorse; but at the very mention of a
racehorse, the stumpy animal whose portrait
leaded our earliest lesson of equine history,
in the before-quoted " Universal Spelling
Book," vanishes from our view, and the
animal described in the Book of Job prances
into our mind's eye: " The glory of his nostril
is terrible. He mocketh at fear and is not
affrighted. He swalloweth the ground with

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