I told you, when I set out, that I had bought a handsome-looking English horse for seven guineas, but a little touched in his wind; I can now inform you, that when I left this town, he was rather thin, and had a sore back and shoulder; both which, by care and caution; were soon healed, and that he is returned fair and fat, and not a hair out of its place, though he drew two grown persons, two children, (one of thirteen the other ten years old) a very heavy French cabriolet, and all our baggage, nay, almost all my goods, chattels, and worldly property whatever, outward and homeward, except between Cette and Barcelona, going, and Lyons and this town returning! I will point out to you one of his day’s work, by which you will be able to judge of his general power of working: At Perpignan, I had, to save him, hired post-horses to the first town in Spain, as I thought it might be too much for him to ascend and descend the Pyrenees in one day; beside sixteen miles to the foot of them, on this side, and three to Jonquire on the other; but after the horses were put to, the post-master required me to take two men to Boulou, in order to hold the chaise, and to prevent its overturning in crossing the river near the village. Such a flagrant attempt to impose, determined me to take neither horses nor men; and at seven o’clock I set off with Callee (that is my houyhnhnm’s name) and arrived in three hours at Boulou, a paltry village, but in a situation fit for the palace of AUGUSTUS!
So far from wanting men from Perpignan to conduct my chaise over the river, the whole village were, upon our arrival, in motion after the JOB. We, however, passed it, without any assistance but our own weight to keep the wheels down, and the horse’s strength and sturdiness, to drag us through it. In about three hours more we passed over the summit of this great chain of the universe; and in two more, arrived at Jonquire: near which village my horse had a little bait of fresh mown hay, the first, and last, he eat in that kingdom. And when I tell you that this faithful, and (for a great part of my journey) only servant I had, never made a faux pas, never was so tired, but that upon a pinch, he could have gone a league or two farther; nor ever was ill, lame, physicked, or bled, since he was mine; you will agree, that either he is an uncommon good horse, or that his master is a good groom! Indeed I will say that, however fatigued, wet, hundry, or droughty I was, I never partook of any refreshment till my horse had every comfort the inn could afford. I carried a wooden bowl to give him water, and never passed a brook without asking him to drink.—And, as he has been my faithful servant, I am now his; for he lives under the same roof with me, and does nothing but eat, drink, and sleep.—As he never sees me nor hears my voice, without taking some affectionate notice of me, I ventured to ask him tenderly,