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NOBLEMEN AND GENTLEMEN
The distinguished style in which the MEMBERS of the Quorn Hunt have long pursued the pleasures of the Chase, is so well known to the sporting world in general, as to require neither comment nor eulogium on the present occasion.
It was the manifestation of this superior excellence which convinced me, that, in seeking for Patrons to whom I should take the liberty of dedicating the following Treatise, I could not pay a higher compliment to my own judgment, nor excite a greater interes in the public mind in behalf of my Work, than to offer it to your consideration and protection.
At the same time I cannot but be aware that I am presenting myself before a tribunal of no ordinary character; but the candour
and urbanity of British GENTLEMEN will ever afford the best secu rity against malevolent criticism or unqualified censure.
Treatises on the Veterinary Art have multiplied so greatly of late years, that the subject can admit but of little or no novelty. A Work, however, comprising in one view all that is most important on the Treatment of Horses appeared to me to be wanting. I have, therefore, in the prosecution of my object, attempted to adopt a general system, with the view of rendering it more familiar and less irksome to unprofessional readers. And, in order to relieve the dry detail of a scientific essay, I have occasionally introduced miscellaneous remarks and anecdotes relating to sporting affairs, deeming such a variety as the most likely means of making it more interesting, as well as a pleasant hour's relaxation, on the evening of a hard day.
With every sentiment of respect,
I have the honour to be
Your most obedient servant,
TO THE READER
IN presenting a new work to the public it||tion of good sense, and a close attention to has generally been considered necessary to the laws of nature. offer a few prefatory observations for the It happens, however, unfortunately that purpose of explaining the nature of its con- | there ever has existed in the public mind a tents, as well as to solicit the indulgence of greater or less propensity to become the the reader in regard to its defects. In com- || dupes of imposition and quackery, and there pliance, therefore, with such an established never will be wanting individuals who are custom, the author of the present treatise ready to seize every opportunity of enriching ventures to claim the same privileges that themselves by the credulity of the rest of have been granted to those who have pre- mankind. To such an extent indeed has ceded him, and the best pledge he can hold this evil been carried that no man need deout for the validity of his pretensions will be sire a better income than the value of those the assurance that he has spared no pains in || horses and cattle that are annually destroyed bis endeavours to render it worthy of their through the bad effects of publications, which, attention and patronage.
if they were written by regular veterinary In the prosecution of his object he has surgeons, would be not only a disgrace to avoided, as much as possible, the use of tech- || themselves but to the profession at large. dical terms, from the conviction that no essay || The enormous increase in the number of on the subject in question can be really use-horses employed in the service of the public, ful except it be treated in such a manner as and especially by innkeepers and coach-proto be perfectly familiar to readers in general.prietors, renders it highly essential to the The diseases of the horse (notwithstanding interests of those persons that the best means some of them are incurable by any process hi- of providing against the bad consequences therto discovered) are few and simple, and the of the extraordinary degree of labour to affectation of using a high-flown and myste- || which they are exposed, should become gerious style of expression in describing their nerally diffused, as well as the best mode of progress and effects is as ridiculous on the preventing those diseases which too often one hand, as the gross ignorance and vulga- | arise from the neglect, or what is worse, from rity of the common farriers is disgusting on the obstinacy and self-conceit of their serthe other. It was the original object of the vants. The common treatment of this class establishment of a veterinary college in this of horses is but too generally founded on old country to bring the practice of farriery to and erroneous maxims, except in some fow some settled system, built upon the founda- instances where the proprietor has the good
sense or rather the courage to judge for him-li consequences of ignorance and prejudice self and to rescue his property from the confined to the horse alone, as may clearly hands of the blacksmith, who, amongst other be perceived in regard to the diseases of notable expedients for the improvement of horned cattle and sheep. If it were possible his own treasury, employs his Sunday morn
to descend lower in the scale of human abiings in bleeding the poor animals all round, lity than that which belongs to the countrywhether old or young, healthy or diseased, || blacksmith, it must be in the qualifications of that he may have the opportunity of charg- | the cow-doctor. The monstrous and inconing one shilling per head. In consequence ceivable mixture of folly and stupidity which of this absurd and injurious practice, and directs the operations of these men is almost the slovenly and unskilful manner in which too ridiculous for belief, and in adverting to it is generally executed, there are almost this circunstance the author thinks, without always to be found in the stables of inn- much presumption, that he is not likely to keepers or coach-masters, one or more horses incur the imputation of envy or jealousy, or with diseased necks, which in nine cases to be accused of attempting to pull down the out of ten ends in the loss of the vein, and it fame of others to establish his own. The haj-pens not unfrequently with those which system to which he alludes is such as to defy work at night in the mail-coaches that the all comparison, and so far from being capapin which closed the orifice in the skin is ble of amelioration, it ought, in justice to forced out by the bearing rein, and the ani- || common sense, to be abolished altogether, mal bleeds till he drops down before the ac- 'ere any attempts are made to establish a cident can be discovered by the driver. more rational, mode of treatment.
The foregoing constitute but a small part In regard to the prescriptions which the of the evils to which horses of this descrip- author has recommended, his principal care tion are liable, and of which a more ample has been to simplify them as much as possiexposition will be given in the body of the ble, so as to avoid the consequences which work, but the author conceives that even must frequently take place when a numerous these would be sufficient to prove the neces- mixture of drugs is prescribed, namely, the sity of a reformation in that department. In counteraction of the properties of each other. hunting and racing stables the poor animal Nor has he been less attentive to the
quanis but too often doomed to endure the perni- tity, so as to prevent those fatal effects which cious effects of systems that are at direct va- | often ensue from too large doses. riance with the plain and self-evident dictates In his endeavours to accomplish the foreof nature. The absurdity of the system going objects, the author has occasionally adopted in this higher branch of stable affairs, | referred to such writers as have thrown any notwithstanding it is clothed with a certain light on the subject, and he should regret affectation of superior skill and a knowing || losing the present opportunity of paying a significance of deportment, is equally detri- || just tribute to the sterling merit of some of mental as that of the drunken and brutal | his cotemporaries, especially to Mr. Bracy blacksmith, and according to present appear- | Clarke, whose labours have been constantly ances is quite as difficult to be 'eradicated or and so successfully directed to the promotion even counteracted. Nor are the bar«ful li and improvement of the veterinary art.