A CONVERSATION BETWEEN TWO HACKNEY-COACH HORSES.
KINDLY COMMUNICATED BY OUR DOG “TOBY.”
DEAR SIR,—I was a-sitting the other evening at the door of my kennel, thinking of the dog-days and smoking my pipe (blessings on you, master, for teaching me that art!), when one of your prospectuses was put into my paw by a spaniel that lives as pet-dog in a nobleman’s family. Lawk, sir! what misfortunes can have befallen you, that you are obleeged to turn author?
I remember the poor devil as used to supply us with dialect—what a face he had! It was like a mouth-organ turned edgeways; and he looked as hollow as the big drum, but warn’t half so round and noisy. You can’t have dwindled down to that, sure_ly_! I couldn’t bear to see your hump and pars pendula (that’s dog Latin) shrunk up like dried almonds, and titivated out in msty-fusty toggery—I’m sure I couldn’t! The very thought of it is like a pound weight at the end of my tail.
I whined like any thing, calling to my missus—for you must know that I’ve married as handsome a Scotch terrier as you ever see. “Vixen,” says I, “here’s the poor old governor up at last—I knew that Police Act would drive him to something desperate.”
“Why he hasn’t hung himself in earnest, and summoned you on his inquest!” exclaimed Mrs. T.
“Worse nor that,” says I; “he’s turned author, and in course is stewed up in some wery elevated apartment during this blessed season of the year, when all nature is wagging with delight, and the fairs is on, and the police don’t want nothing to do to warm ’em, and consequentially sees no harm in a muster of infantry in bye-streets. It’s very hawful.”
Vixen sighed and scratched her ear with her right leg, so I know’d she’d something in her head, for she always does that when anything tickles her. “Toby,” says she, “go and see the old gentleman; perhaps it might comfort him to larrup you a little.”
“Very well,” says I, “I’ll be off at once; so put me by a bone or two for supper, should any come out while I’m gone; and if you can get the puppies to sleep before I return, I shall be so much obleeged to you.” Saying which, I toddled off for Wellington-street. I had just got to the coach-stand at Hyde Park Corner, when who should I see labelled as a waterman but the one-eyed chap we once had as a orchestra—he as could only play “Jim Crow” and the “Soldier Tired.” Thinks I, I may as well pass the compliment of the day with him; so I creeps under the hackney-coach he was standing alongside on, intending to surprise him; but just as I was about to pop out he ran off the stand to un-nosebag a cab-horse. Whilst I was waiting for him to come back, I hears the off-side horse in the wehicle make the following remark:—
OFF-SIDE HORSE—(twisting his tail about like anything)—Curse the flies!
NEAR-SIDE HORSE.—You may say that. I’ve had one fellow tickling me this half-hour.