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money on a very beautiful, though useless, species of horses. These animals are, however, doomed to experience the effects of the capricious humours of their masters. At one time they are considered as the dearest friends and most loved companions of their lords, who are never so happy as when in the apartments of their four-legged favourites. While this fit of fondness lasts, they are attended by numerous servants, who, taking consequence from the dignity of their employment, are at once the most insolent and most rapacious of the domestick tribe. Some of these are employed in rubbing the skins of the horses into a beautiful polish, while others serve them with the choicest food. Nay, so far does their care extend, that, as if the clothing of nature were not sufficient, they provide them with woolen garments which completely cover their whole bodies. Will not Maandaara think that the truth hath forsaken his friend, when I say, that the tormenting of these unfortunate favourites forms one
of the chief amusements of the English nobility ? But so it is ;-at certain appointed periods, they are brought out in the midst of a concourse of spectators, stripped of their fine clothing, and forced to gallop round a certain piece of ground full speed, while for the amusement of their cruel masters they are whipped and even goaded by sharp instruments of steel until the blood flows in streams from their lacerated bodies, and this is called sport —But to return to Sir Caprice Ardent. If I rightly remember, the next pursuit upon which, according to Doctor Severan's account, he employed the vigour of his mind, was hunting. Here are no jungles in which to pursue the ferocious tyrants of the forest. Here, courage is not called forth in the attack of the wild elephant, or the roaring lion. Nor is activity and watchfulness necessary to guard against the sudden spring of the carnage loving tyger. The pursuit of a small animal, called a fox, employs the vigour of the English hunters. The mischief which the Philosopher informed me was done by Sir Caprice and his friends, in pursuit of this little animal, I confess, appeared to me altogether unaccountable. He mentioned their having spoiled fifteen farms by breaking down the fences, and that a young wood, of great extent, which had been planted by his father, was, by the advice of one of the companions of Sir Caprice, in order to give free scope to the magnanimous pursuers of the red fugitive, burned to the ground. Another consequence of this diversion was to me, equally incomprehensible. Notwithstanding the coldness of the climate, it seems to be productive of the most astonishing degree of thirst. The sum of money which, according to the calculation of Doctor Severan, was expended by Sir Caprice on the wine gulped down by his companions of the chace, would, if it had been employed in improving the uncultivated parts of his estate, have been sufficient to have made the barren wilderness a garden of delights.
“Next to hunting,” said Doctor Severan, “succeeded the love of equipage and fine clothes. It was now the ambition of the Baronet's heart to attract the attention of the ladies. His ambition was, perhaps, in no other pursuit of his life, so fully gratified. Wherever he appeared, his exquisite taste was the object of unbounded admiration.
“To have a wife whose beauty would justify the opinion entertained of his taste, and who would likewise give him a new op
portunity of displaying it in the choice of
female ornaments, now engrossed his cares. Such a one he soon met with. You have seen his Lady. She is what is commonly called, one of the best of nomen. To an evenness of temper, flowing from insensibility, she adds a strict observance of all the rules of politeness and good breeding, taught by that sort of education given at modern boarding schools; which being directed to unessential forms, and useless accomplishments, renders the character cold and artificial. Though incapable of generous friend
ship, or heart warming affection, she is never deficient in the external ceremonials of respect; and though she never did a kind or good-natured thing in her life, the low temperature of her passions assists her in preserving that semblance of placidity, often very improperly called smeetness, which at all times appears in her countenance. “With a better understanding, she might, perhaps, have directed the effervescence of her husband's disposition to some useful purpose, and restrained it within the limits of common sense. As it is, she contents herself, if, by the assistance of a little cunning, in which women of this class of intellect are never deficient, she can work out any little end to which her little selfish mind inclines her. “It would be too tedious,” continued Severan, “to follow the Baronet through all the various whims and fancies in which his restless spirits have discharged themselves. “The only period in which I ever knew reading to occupy much of his time, was VOL. 1 I. 8