Not bad tempered, mind you, but kind of pained and
And ‘e seemed to say, “Well, bli’ me! wot will they ask me next?
I’ve put up with some liberties, but this caps all by far,
To be assistant engine to a crocky motor car!”
Well, master, ‘e was in the car, a-fiddlin’
with the gear,
An’ the ‘orse was meditatin’, an’ I was standin’ near,
When master ’e touched somethin’—what it was we’ll never know—
But it sort o’ spurred the boiler up and made the engine go.
“’Old ’ard, old gal!” says
master, and “Gently then!” says I,
But an engine wont ‘eed coaxin’ an’ it ain’t no use to try;
So first ‘e pulled a lever, an’ then ’e turned a screw,
But the thing kept crawlin’ forrard spite of all that ’e could do.
And first it went quite slowly, and the ’orse
went also slow,
But ’e ’ad to buck up faster when the wheels began to go;
For the car kept crowdin’ on ‘im and buttin’ ’im along,
An’ in less than ’alf a minute, sir, that ‘orse was goin’ strong.
At first ‘e walked quite dignified, an’
then ’e had to trot,
And then ’e tried to canter when the pace became too ’ot.
’E looked ’is very ’aughtiest, as if ’e didn’t mind,
And all the time the motor-car was pushin’ ’im be’ind.
Now, master lost ’is ’ead when ’e
found ’e couldn’t stop,
And ‘e pulled a valve or somethin’ an’ somethin’ else went pop,
An’ somethin’ else went fizzywig, an’ in a flash or less,
That blessed car was goin’ like a limited express.
Master ‘eld the steerin’ gear, an’
kept the road all right,
And away they whizzed and clattered—my aunt! it was a sight.
’E seemed the finest draught ’orse as ever lived by far,
For all the country Juggins thought ’twas ’im wot pulled the car.
‘E was stretchin’ like a grey’ound,
‘e was goin’ all ’e knew,
But it bumped an’ shoved be’ind ’im, for all that ’e could do;
It butted ’im and boosted ‘im an’ spanked ’im on a’ead,
Till ’e broke the ten-mile record, same as I already said.
Ten mile in twenty minutes! ’E done it,
sir. That’s true.
The only time we ever found what that ’ere ’orse could do.
Some say it wasn’t ’ardly fair, and the papers made a fuss,
But ’e broke the ten-mile record, and that’s good enough for us.
You see that ’orse’s tail, sir? You
don’t! no more do we,
Which really ain’t surprisin’, for ’e ’as no tail to see;
That engine wore it off ’im before master made it stop,
And all the road was litter’d like a bloomin’ barber’s shop.
And master? Well, it cured ’im. ’E
altered from that day,
And come back to ’is ’orses in the good old-fashioned way.
And if you wants to git the sack, the quickest way by far,
Is to ’int as ’ow you think ’e ought to keep a motorcar.
THE HARDEST PART I EVER PLAYED.
By re Henry.