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the services which are continually taking place in the They hear of their horse-god, they read of him in their open air. Judged by the newspapers, the Christian sacred scriptures, and for a few brief moments they can Church is simply not in it compared with the worship see him sweeping meteor-like over the grass. But it of the horse-god. The Church in all ages has had its is only a few who are favoured with this beatific prophets, but for the most part they have been excepvision. To the immense
tional personages, appearing at irmajority the object of their
regular intervals, according as the devotion is worshipped un
Divine afflatus was vouchsafed to seen. But, seen or unseen,
man. In the Church of the Turf the he is surrounded with all
supply of prophets is inexhaustible. the mystery of an ancient
Its array of seers is more imposing, oracle. He has his hiero
so far as numbers are concerned, than phants, his priests of the
that wbich is to be found in any cave, and all the satellites
other church of any other age. which gather round the
THE GOOD THAT IS IN IT. worship of the mysterious Invisible. However mys
In many respects the cult of the terious it may be, it is never
horse-god can claim credit for contheless real, and it has an
ferring many indirect advantages organisation not as vener
upon its worshippers. Ethics are able, but almost as complex,
not its strong point, that is true; as that of the more historic
but man does not live by morality churches. It has racing
alone, and he would be a blind fanatic stables in place of theological
who would deny that the Church of colleges, and its places of
the Turf confers many benefits upon worship may be found in
its votaries. To begin with, it proevery part of the land, from
vides them with a distraction what may be regarded as the
and makes their existence metropolitan cathedral of
less dull, and dulness is the Newmarket down to the
mother of many sins, and humblest little wayside meet
most of the vices; it coming which affords its devotees
pels thousands and hundreds an opportunity of worship.
of thousands of its devotees A recent writer-Major Se
to spend hours on breezy ton Churchill-declares that
uplands and in sunny parks there are more professional
to the great benefit of their bookmakers who dedicate
health, nor would the most pious the whole of their lives to
Christian deny that from the hygienic their profession, than there
point of view these assemblages of are incumbents in the Church
the turf do more for the physical of England, and if their assist
health of those who are brought ants are included, the priest
together in the open air than can be hood of the turf considerably
claimed for the hot and stifling outnumbers the ministers of
atmosphere which hangs like a pall all denominations. Nor does
over the bowed heads of Christian the worship of the horse
worshippers in many a chapel and god lack sincerity, which is
church. Nor should the intellectual evinced by a readiness to
training which it gives to its followers sacrifice on his altar.
be forgotten. The Church of the
Turf has its history, less sublime, HIS HIEROPHANTS.
of course, than that which is recorded Some of the jockeys,
in the Acta Sanctorum; but, neverwho may be regarded
theless, it is a history, and as such as the bierophants of
is a perpetual incentive to study, this pagan creed, re
and a continual exercise ground ceive higher salaries
for the human memory.
The than the Archbishop of
philosopher and the patriot would Canterbury. In other
no doubt prefer that the British respects turfites put
shopkeeper and artisan should Christians to shame. THE CLERGY OF THE TURF.NO. 2. THE TIPSTER.
charge their memories with facts There are few indeed
more important to the general of the orthodox, whether of the clergy or the laity, who well-being than the pedigree of the favourite or the search the scriptures with the regularity and punctuality names of the winners of the Derby. But we have to which distinguish the followers of the rival creed. For take what we can get. He would be a bold man who the Church of the Turf has its scriptures, which are would venture to condemn on utilitarian grounds the known and read by all its members. There are said to mnemonic exercises of the devotee of the turf. The same be no fewer than fifty papers devoted to this cult in objection might be taken to the making of Latin verse London alone, and nearly every paper in the country is in our public schools and universities. But history is not compelled to dedicate a section of its space to chronicle the only study which the cult of the horse-god stimulates.
ITS EDUCATIONAL VALUE.
equine prodigy finds his place in the calendar long before It may be claimed with reason to be a kind of illegiti
the Christian saint would have got through the initial mate branch of university extension so far at least as struggles with the prejudices and the stupidity of the arithmetic is concerned. The elaborate arithmetical hierarchy which will ultimately declare his sanctity. calculations which are involved in making a book are
This year is notable for the appearance of one of these most inconceivable to those who have never made a bet.
saints of the turf. Ladas, the winner of the Two Every bookmaker is in his small way a mathematician Thousand, the Newmarket Stakes, and the Derby, is by familiar with the properties of figures and the subtle universal consent acknowledged to be the best horse we mysteries of proportion. The fact that these abstruse are likely to see before the twentieth century. Ladas, calculations based on betting lists have no real therefore, in the popular calendar may be regarded as bearing on the problems of real life is to bring
St. Ladas, and as such he is much the most conspicuous against them a charge which is no greater than personage which has figured upon the stage of the world that which the utilitarians are constantly urging against during the last month. I have written character sketches the study of dead languages and of the higher mathematics. of Popes, and Emperors, and newspapers ; last month I Another benefit which results indirectly from the worship
tried my hand at a character sketch of an obscure of the horse-god is the improvement of horseflesh, and it
industrial and socialistic movement. It will therefore be would be ungenerous on the part of the followers of the a novelty to add to our gallery a sketch of the great St. purer creed to ignore the fact that it has been one of the Ladas. This I do the more readily as it affords me an influences which have tended to develop the sense of opening of saying some things which very much need to human brotherhood, to level class distinctions, and to be said just now on the subject of the turf. compel men of all conditions of life to meet and mingle
II. ST. LADAS. on a common footing in pursuit of a common end.
It is only a bad man who does not love a good horse. A NOTE OF THE ENGLISH RACE.
Nothing is more silly than the attempt made by some So much at least may be admittel by even those who
writers to pretend that Nonconformists, because they regard the worship of the horse-god with the same anti
object to degrading horses to the level of dice, do not pathy which the early Christians regarded the worship of
understand the natural liking of a man for his steed. Jupiter or the rites of Cybele. For good or for evil this
The love and sympathy which most Englishmen and strange cult has rooted itself into the English race.
English women feel for horses are far too deeply seated in The racehorse is much more of a national symbol than the
the vitals of our race to be rooted out by the accident of British lion. Wherever the Englishman goes he takes
attendance at chapel instead of at church. It would take his equine deity with him as punctiliously as other Eng more than three centuries of Nonconformity to extirpate lishmen take their bibles and prayer-books. In the vast
from the heart of man or women of English birth the New World which we are peopling with men who speak
sentiment of genuine liking for the horse. It would be the “tongne which Shakespeare spake" there are always strange if it were not so. For in the long and weary some to be found who will use that tongue to shout
centuries during which man has been laboriously evolved, the odds and to back the favourite. It is so in America,
the horse was his indispensable friend and ally. The in Australia, in India; and even in Mashonaland a race
horse was to his half-civilised rider what gunpowder is meeting was one of the earliest signs of the dominion
now to the civilised races of the world. It secured them of Britain after the disappearance of the assegais
the ascendancy, the mastery and the direction of the nonof the Matabele. Nor is it only in England and English
riding races. There would be something of ingratitude speaking lands that the religion of the turf has found
if we forgot how the horse helped to save civilisation, eager followers. As a thousand years ago missionaries
even if he did not continually renew. his services to his proceeded from this land to Christianise the pagan
biped friends. inhabitants of Central Europe, so in these latter days
THE LOVE OF HORSES. missionaries of another sort have established more easily and with not less success the distinctive paraphernalia of
But we need not go to the recondite mysteries of the the new worship. Racecourses have sprung up in Germany
inherited sense of race obligation to explain the universal and in France in the footsteps of these modern mis
love for horses which characterises all our people, without sionaries. Canterbury is less of a world centre in many
distinction or sectarian difference. No other animal is respects than Newmarket, and there are few parts of
so closely associated with all that is most heroic and the world in which the result of the Derby does not
romantic in the history of mankind. When the destiny cause a much more intense thrill of human interest than
of nations has trembled in the balance, and when the the nomination of an archbishop or the issue of a
safety of dynasties has depended upon the issue of a single prosecution for heresy.
battle or the death of a single leader, the horse has so frequently been the instrument by which Fate revealed
her decree, that we feel instinctively, and rightly, a It is therefore not strange that the religion of the turf, sense of co-partnership, a cameraderie with the horse like other religions, should produce its saints in the shape that we do not feel with regard to any other animal, of equine prodigies which realise the ideal of their The horse seems to play a semi-independent rôle of his worshippers, combining the points of character and the own in the great drama of human history. Bucephalus capacities which, in the opinion of their worshippers, con is perhaps better known than Alexander the Great, and stitute the supreme excellence, and which therefore may Black Auster, although a myth of the poet's brain, is be regarded as corresponding to those beatified mortals mora vividly real in early Roman history to our schoolwho imbibe so much of the spirit of their religion in their boys than all the shadowy humans who fought by his life as to be canonised after death. As befits a religion side on the eventful day by Lake Regillus. which is based upon speed, the worshippers of the horse
Now, bear me well, Black Auster, god do not delay as long as the sacred congregation
Into yon thick array; at 1.ɔme in discovering the merits of their saints.
And thou and I will have revenge Recognition of supreme merit is instantaneous, and the
For thy good lord this day,
SAINTS OF THE TURF.
ON THE FEE 'ULD
In these words of the Dictator Aulus we have the ex invited to Mentmore it was a subject of kindly jest that pression of the exact note of community that exists of all the visitors there was no one who took so keen an between horse and man.
interest in Lord Rosebery's racehorses as Mr. McDougall
the Methodist. There was nothing wonderful in that. THEIR HUMANITY.
The last person to take a really human personal interest It is a kind of communion of humanity, the nearest in a horse, as a horse, is the man to whom the horse bas approach on the side of the quadrupeds to the become a mere four-legged substitute for the roulette table. communion of saints the side of the angels. The gambling element submerges the human-equine William the Conqueror, who crushed the English at character of the horse. Personally, I have always had Hastings, was slain by his horse in Normandy. Paul an intense realising sense of companionship with horses. Revere's ride and Sheridan's famous ride are alike I am afraid that I was in my teens before I could remembered, quite as much for the sake of the horses even conceive the possibility that a man or woman as for their riders. Other animals stand outside, or are either could be as interesting as a horse. Whenever but used as tools by man in his battles and his enter there was a carriage accident I never cared about prises. The
the fate of the horse takes a
humans until I part in the game
heard how the himself, and is TO ONE
horses had estherefore nearer
caped. In afterto us than any
life my horsesother quad
and I have only ruped. The
owned twomajesty and the
were so much glory of the
a part of my horse which
family that I inspired the
could no more author of Job
have sold them with one of the
than I could noblest of all
have sold my descriptions of
children. the horse in
Yet for all that literature,
I have as obvious now
seen a horserace as they were
BROS when the an
in my life, and
I did what little cient bard sang
I could to help about him whose
Mr. Hawke to neck is “clothed
found the with thunder.
Anti-Gambling He mocketh at
League which fear and is not
is now meeting affrighted. He
with such consaith among the
stantly increastrumpets, Ha!
ing support as ha! and he
to justify the smelleth the
hope that at battle afar off,
last something the thunder of
practical will the captains,
be done towards and the shout
stemning ing.” Why then
of the greatest should it be A CONGREGATION OF THE FAITHFUL.
plagues of the imagined that a
Sketchel at Ascot.
day. My experidifference of
ence was not at opinion as to the Thirty-nine Articles or the historic all uncommon. I suppose there is many a child in episcopate would blind one half of Her Majesty's subjects Nonconformist homes to-day who would shrink from the to the graces and the glories of the horse ?
racecourse as from the brink of hell, who nevertheless The Thirty-nine Articles and apostolical succession may loves horses so much that of all the books in the Bible be very important, but they do not bite so deep as that. he loves best the book of the Revelation, because of Our Anglican fellow-subjects do not often realise how that wonderful sixth chapter in which the seals were ridiculous they make themselves by these airs of the opened, and behold a white horse; and then there went nursery. Unfortunately this is by no means the only forth another horse, which was red, followed after the instance of the insolence which the Establishment seems third seal by a black horse, after which “I looked, and to engender among many of its supporters. Folly lasts behold a pale horse, and bis name that sat on him was long when its arrogance is bolstered up by ecclesiastical Death, and Hell followed after him." Always with the conceit or theological intolerance.
horse there was the idea of power. Even when the name of
him that sat on horseback was Death, they all went forth NONCONFORMISTS AND HORSES.
conquering and to conquer. Swiftness and courage and When the members of the London County Council were might and victory-all these are present in the horse.
AN IDEAL STEED.
And that which the child imbibes with his daily Bible among racehorses, for no Prime Minister's horse has lesson is deepened and rendered still more radiantly ever carried before it all the great races of the year. attractive when he begins to read, as every child Ladas's record up to the first of July is as good should, as soon as he can read at all, the hero stories as any that have preceded it, if indeed it is not the best and romances of the early days. Of all the Early English that has ever gone to the credit of any horse, and even thosa romances none is more fascinating than that of Sir Bevis who take no interest in racing can hardly refrain from of Hampton--and why? Because at every turn and twist hoping that this horse may finish as he has begun, and leave of the chequered fortunes of that doughty champion, his the turf with ar absolutely unbroken record of victory. good steed Arundel is to the fore. The romance is To those who are not racing-men a remark made by Lord really the story of how that peerless steed snaps seven Rosebery will commend the horse even more than the chains to rejoin its master, defies all his adversaries, carrying off of the triple event. I was saying that I . and in short proves so doughty an ally that it deserved thought horses were the most human of all animals. knighthood if ever horse did. Arundel reminds one of Lord Rosebery said quietly“ and Ladas is the most human Ladas—and so I get back to my text-for says the quaint of all horses.” Whether he is this or not, he is the old rhyme:
swiftest of all the horses of his year, and one of the most “ Josyan gave him, sith then a steed,
beautiful creatures that ever stopped on hoofs; and it is The best that ever on ground gede;
easy to understand that amidst the cares of State his Full well I can his name tell,
owner should owe to Ladas the few gleams of sunshine Men called him Arundel.
which have lit up the somewhat arduous experiences of There was no horse in the world so strong
the last eighteen months, That might him follow a furlong." Ladas is no Arundel in adventure, but Lord Rosebery's
III.—THE OWNER OF ST. LADAS. horse resembles the charger of Sir Bevis in being the Lord Rosebery's experience as an owner of racehorses champion of the equine race for his time. Of Ladas
began in his early youth. Like most boys he was fond it may be said as Cromwell said of his Ironsides, " Truly of horses, and he has not lost his love of them to this he was never beaten.” Alike as a two-year-old and three hour. This, if Emerson may be believed, may have conyear-old, every rival has gone down before him. And
tributed somewhat to that toughening of the fibre of his that, it must be admitted, naturally intensifies the interest character and the strengthening of that resolute judgwhich any owner would feel in his steed.
ment, at which shallow-judging men at present are
pleased to throw doubt. “I find the Englishman,” said Ladas, like most racehorses, has but little history.
the acute New England observer, " to be him of all men To begin with, he is but three years old, and the vicissi
who stands firmest in his shoes. They have in themselves tudes of life in three years, whether the life be human or
what they value in their horses, mettle and bottom." equine, are but few. From his foaling up Ladas has
The whole passage is well worth quoting :been in every respect an ideal animal; nothing can be
The Englishman associates well with dogs and horses. His more admirable than his temper, the grace of his move
attachment to the horse is from the courage and address required
to manage it. The horse finds out who is afraid of it, and does ments, and the natural perfection of his constitution. On the Derby Day his good temper and forbearance were
not disguise its opinion. Their young boiling clerks and lusty
collegians like the company of horses better than the company put to a very trying test. When the result was
of professors. I suppose the horses are better company for declared, and as the Prime Minister of England was them. The horse has more uses than Buffon noted. If you go leading the winner of the Derby from the course to the out into the streets every driver in bus or dray is a bully, and, enclosure, they were mobbed by an enthusiastically jubi if I wanted a good troop of soldiers, I should recruit among the lant crowd in a fashion which severely tried the nerves stables. Add a certain degree of refinement to the vivacity of the owner, and which might have upset the equilibrium of these riders, and you obtain the precise quality which makes of any less well balanced horse. The multitude crowded the men and women of society formidable. They come honestly around him, they patted him, they punched him, they
by their horsemanship, with Hengist and Horsa for their
Saxon founders. The other branch of their race had been sat upon his hocks in their enthusiasm, and to make
Tartar nomads. The horse was all their wealth, the children matters worse, many of them filched hairs from his tail
were fed on mare's milk. The pastures of Tartary were to carry away as mementoes. Now, even a man, if he is
still remembered by the tenacious practice of the Norsein the middle of a crowd which insists on pulling hair men to eat horseflesh at religious feasts. In the Danish out of his head by handfuls, might be excused invasions the marauders seized upon horses where they landed, if he lost his temper; but Ladas was perfectly and were at once converted into a body of expert cavalry.... calm and did not injure any one.
The incident was The severity of the game laws certainly indicates an extracharacteristic. A horse less equable might have crowned vagant sympathy of the nation with horses and hunters. The his victory by killing many of his worshippers. Ladas, gentlemen are always on horseback, and have brought horses however, took it all with easy nonchalance, which is
to an ideal perfection. The Englisli racer is a factitious breed. characteristic of the saint, although even human saints
A score or two of mounted gentlemen may frequently be seen might have demurred to the relic hunters beginning
running like centaurs down a hill nearly as steep as the roof
of a house. Every inn room is lined with pictures of races; operations upon their persons even before they were dead.
telegraphs communicate every hour tidings of the heats from THE MOST HUMAN OF HORSES.
Newmarket and Ascot; and the House of Commons adjourns of the racing career of Ladas there is not much over the “ Derby Day." need to enter here. His success as a two-year-old was It was something of that sturdy temperament of our phenomenal, and as a three-year-old he has carried race which led Lord Rosebery, when he was still in the off
one prize after another with astonishing ease. stage of "a young boiling clerk and lusty collegian,” to The Two Thousand, the Newmarket Stakes and the venture upon the perils of a racing career. He was Derby have all fallen before him, and it is confi drawn to it by the very means employed to keep him dently anticipated that he will win the St. Leger. from it. At first he had not the slightest interest in the In that case Ladas will have had an unparalleled record turf, but hearing it constantly described as if it were full