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The Horse and His Rider



The Horse and His Rider


A Young Man, who fancied himself something of a horseman, mounted a Horse which had not been properly broken in, and was exceedingly difficult to control. No sooner did the Horse feel his weight in the saddle than he bolted, and nothing would stop him. A friend of the Rider's met him in the road in his headlong career, and called out, "Where are you off to in such a hurry?" To which he, pointing to the Horse, replied, "I've no idea: ask him."



The Horse and His Rider

A HORSE SOLDIER took the utmost pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies and fed him carefully with hay and corn. But when the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat and made him carry heavy loads of wood, subjecting him to much slavish drudgery and ill-treatment. War was again proclaimed, however, and when the trumpet summoned him to his standard, the Soldier put on his charger its military trappings, and mounted, being clad in his heavy coat of mail. The Horse fell down straightway under the weight, no longer equal to the burden, and said to his master, "You must now go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a Horse into an Ass; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment from an Ass to a Horse?"

The Horse and his Rider

A Horse-soldier took great pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies, and fed him carefully with hay and corn. When the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat, and made him carry heavy loads of wood, and subjected him to much slavish drudgery and ill-treatment. War, however, being again proclaimed, the Soldier put on his charger its military trappings, and mounted, being clad in his heavy coat of mail. The Horse fell down straightway under the weight, no longer equal to the burden, and said to his master: "You must now e'en go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a Horse into an Ass."

He who slights his friends when they are not needed must not expect them to serve him when he needs them.

Illustration 217

The Horse and His Rider

A man  a palfrey long possess'd,

A quiet, serviceable beast;

Spavin'd, indeed, and somewhat blind,

But still his way he well could find;

And if he stumbled now and then,

Was soon upon his feet again.

In short, for many a year, the pack

Had borne him safely on his back.

Till riding out one fatal day,

He overheard some coxcombs say,

"For such a man, 'tis quite a shame,

To mount a horse old, blind, and lame."

"Aye," replied one, "I know a steed

Would nobly carry him indeed;

Young, vigorous, beautiful, and sound;

His like is nowhere to be found."

In evil hour an ear he lent,

To view this boasted courser went:

Unwary on his back he got,

And tried to put him on a trot;

He rear'd and plung'd, and leap'd about,

Till from his seat he shook him out,

Then kicking, pitch'd him o'er his head,

And laid him on the pavement dead.

The vicious creature left at large,

On all his fury would discharge;

This from behind his heels surprise,

Trod under foot, that sprawling lies:

Another, who would seize the reins,

Is bit and mangled for his pains.

But want of nourishment and rest

Will tame at last the fiercest beast;

And rage itself suspends its course,

Exhausted by its proper force.

Light'ning no more his eyes inspire,

No more his nostrils snorted fire;

At bay he stood, fatigu'd and lank,

With flagging ears, and beating flank.

An active jockey, stout and able,

Contracts to bring him to the stable;

Soothes, and his neck begins to pat,

And the corn rattles in his hat;

By hunger drawn, repell'd by fear,

The courser neighs, retires, comes near;

Lur'd with the smell, begins to eat.

The jockey vaulted in the seat:

With vigorous hand the bridle plied,

And stuck the rowels in his side.

Some bounds and curvets still he made,

But soon submissively obey'd.

The horseman who such skill had shown,

Resolv'd to keep him for his own:

Aware that constant work alone

Can keep this wicked spirit down

He night and day is on his back,

To lead him to some new attack,

No road is safe, nor far nor near,

This highwayman is every where.

Illustration 220