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lowing declaration. He stated to the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson, “ that till within two years past, he had been attentive to religious duties, but that, about that time, he began to neglect his Church. Shortly after this, he took to drinking; and thus proceeding, step by step, from one vice to another, he became a gumbler, a fighter, and at last, giving a full swing to his unrestrained passions, they led him still deeper into guilt, till be, at length, committed the horrid deed of murder."
When we speak of the danger of drinking, and of gambling, and of mixing with bad companions ; or when we warn our readers against the wicked dispositions which are encouraged by frequenting fights and other places where idle and profligate peeple are collected; we are sometimes perhaps thought to speak of the danger of these things more strongly than the cases require. one, however, just listen to the truths which fail from men who bave experienced the dreadful consequences of them, and they will find that nothing which we can say, can equal the forcible language which plain experience calls forth from those who are tempted to their ruin by such bad practices. No good man would ever encourage any habits which might, by any possibility, produce such dreadfal consequences,
Park, January, 6th, 1824. LETTER FROM A GROOM ON FIRING HORSES. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, You know, people are always soonest taken with things relating to their own way of life, and so you must not wonder that I began to read the last number of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor, at the wrong end; and first of all, pitched upon the “Old Groom's Letter,” taken from one of the newspapers. I own I was a little puzzled, at starting, to make out what was meant by "fixing a horse;" but I soon found that all would be put to rights by changing a letter, and that it was the custom of firing wbich my comradefinds fault with, and very properly calls “a barbarous invention.” Now, Sir, I don't wish to set myself up, and I am sure, but for your kind favour, no letters of mine would ever have got into print; still, I think I can say a few things about this inatter, from experience; and can offer a little advice, useful to young hands, and sometimes necessary for older ones too. Without pretending to be much of a horse-doctor, or to know what the custom of the veterinary college, mentioned in that letter, may be, I venture to tell my young fellow grooms, that, in most cases, where firing has been thought necessary, according to the old plan of treatment, the evil has come from want of consideration or care, in some person or other. If horses, particularly young ones, are worked beyond their strength, strained by wanton leaping, rode hard upon rough roads, or over deep and heavy ground, injuries are almost sure to follow, either sooner or later; for which, firing will as surely be recommended. Now then, if masters will, of their own accord, bring this severe punishment upon their cattle; if they would as soon ride an unsound horse as a sound one; and care nothing whether he be free from blemish or not, well and good; we must leave them to do as they please, and to answer for it, as they can; but, for a groom, without cause or necessity, to run a risk of injuring the horses committed to his care, in any or all of the ways I have mentioned, proves him unfeeling in his disposition, and unfaithful to his trust; and, whatever credit he may take to himself, for “distance done within the hour," and "leaps cleared at a stand,” he will get nothing from his more
thoughtful and reasonable fellow servants, but blame and dislike.
It however sometimes happens that spavins, ringbones, and other disorders wbich are thought to require the iron, appear in horses whose work bas been fair and moderate; but, even then, if good advice had been had in time, tbese would not have become such serious matters, and therefore, in such cases, the Groom's fault has been of a different kind. The farrier was not fetched tilļ the horse was lame outright, because, till then, “nothing seemed amiss :" that is to say, the groom has been accustomed to go through his work, without tbought and observation, never making a right use of his eyes, nor paying, particular and daily attention to that matter of prime consequence, the state of the legs and joints. Let agroom be constantly on the look out for any thing that is wrong; let him bear in mind, the places where, and the way in which, strains, splints, curbs, &c. shew themselves; and try some gentle receipts in the first place; and, then, the farrier will have less excuse for recommending firing; and certainly less occasion for employing it, at all, so severely as is mentioned in the old Groom's letter. But “to prevent, is ever better than to cure,” much more than only to attempt a care, and torture your horse into the bar. gain, which, “the old groom" tells us will be the case : for, says he, " I never knew a horse ever relieved by firing :--and therefore it is, that my first caution chiefly deserves to be remembered and ob: served. If our horses are, at any time, forced to suffer roughish usage under the farrier's hands, it will certainly be some comfort to a tender hearted groom, who loves and delights in his horse, to think that no cruelty, neglect, or ignorance, on HIS part,
the cause of a dumb animal being pat, to pain. I hope that “ the declaration of the Veterinary Col. lege," condemning this practice of firing, may, some time or other, come in amongst your newspaper in
telligence. The Cottager's Visitor pleases us, for this very reason, that it contains something for each of us; and suits the stable as well as the servants' hall. I assure you some in my way of life, have been made wiser by it, and not only wiser, but.better, and happier. I hope this is also the case, with
Your most grateful and dutiful servant,
We are mach obliged to John Cfor the good advice which his letter contains. Nine times out of ten, it is over work, or improper usage, . which makes it necessary to have recourse to those rough measures which most farriers recommend, The letter, in, our last number, was cut out of a newspaper. If we can procure the declaration, said to have been given by the Veterinary College, we shall be very glad to insert it. T'he treatment which horses frequently meet with is so dreadfully cruel, that it is a serious duty to try every method by wbich it may be prevented : and the best method is, by kind usage, to make such severe measures un necessary, With respect to firing, if, in some cases, it should be salutary, we must not, then, put it down to the score of cruelty, any more than it is to cut off the leg of a man, or to perform any other painful operation, for the sake of preventing worse consequences, It is very important to know, from au thority, whether any real good does come from firing, or not. When a horse is fired, it must, of course be rested; and very often, it is the rest, not the firing, which has produced the benefit. It is a subject well worth the consideration of those whose business lies much amongst borses.
ANOTHER LETTER ON FARRIERY. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, In your last number, there was, among your newspaper extracts, some remarks on firing horses, wherein it was binted that firing was of no use. I have bad a good deal to do with borses in my time, and have seen a good deal of firing; and certainly, after rest and firing, the horses have sometimes been better; but, whether it was the rest, or whether it was the firing, I am not able to say. After the wounds made by firing, there is a sort of effort of these gashes to close again, and this seems to act like a sort of continued bandage; but whether this really does so act, for any length of time, and whether, if it does so act, it is really useful, I cannot pretend to determine. I am, however, so fond of seeing dumb animals well used, that I must say, if it cannot be proved to be of great use, it is high time that it should be left off.
There is, however, another operation, which ought to be entirely banished from every stable, as a piece' of abominable, and wanton cruelty. I mean the operation called nicking horses. If a horse has the misfortune to carry his tail low, to make him-carry it higher, this vile operation is performed. Gashes are cut in the fleshy part of his tail, the under part: and for fear these should heal again by a natural course, à cord is fastened to the end of the tail, and then passed through a pally at the roof of the stable; and, to the end of this cord, a weight is fixed, so as to keep the tail up, and consequently the wounds open. In this way, it is evident that it must be some time before the wounds heal; and, when they do heal, the tail is carried somewhat higher;-and this is all the advantage. It is so serious an operation, that it is necessary to physic a horse beforehand, to prevent inflammation, and enable him to go