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nated at St. Pancras ; and that previously to the establishment of the College, we were unillumined, in this country, with a single ray of genuine science. We are not only pestered with the perpetual repetition of new discoveries, but, according to the professions of these writers, the College was instituted for the mere purpose of speculation and discovery; of overturning all former practice, and of beginning, as one of them expresses it, intirely de novo.'
Pretensions of this extravagant nature, feebly too, as they have been supported, may, and in truth, already have been, of considerable prejudice to the cause of the Veterinary College; an excellent public institution, which reflects great honour on the liberality of the present times, and, from the influence and example of which, the country has experienced eminent advantages. It needs no argument to prove, nor any apology, that the ends of such an institution will be best answered by the promulgation of a rational and humane system of veterinary practice, whether derived from previous authority, or present experience.
If, in the warmth of my zeal for the defence of former writers, to whom I have acknowledged so much obligation, I have been unmindful of the merits of my cotemporaries, or have injuriously thrown into the shade any man's exertions or laudable attempts at new discovery, nothing will give me greater pleasure, than to acknowledge and retract such 'error, on a fair representation of the fact.
In certain directions concerning Shoes (Vol. II. p. 231.) to which, as they formerly stood, exceptions were made in the public papers, I freely confess some alteration was required; it will appear that I have made a material one, and that there is now little danger of error or misconstruction.
In the medical department, I have retained the use of cordials and warm aromatic sceds, professedly excluded
from the new practice. This I have done from frequent experience of their good effects in certain cases; at the same time, pointing out the common abuse of such articles. Considering the present fashionable retrenchment of the veterinary materia medica, and that nothing farther is now held necessary, than to ring the changes upon Barbadoes alocs, radix ipecac. tartar emetic, and vitriol in substance, it will appear that I have been very redundant: but reflecting on constitutional idiosyncrasy, and that from various occult causes, or in different circumstances, a medicine shall have anomalous effects in the same disease, I have thought proper to note most of those simples or compositions, which have been found, by experience, to operate efficaciously on the body of the horse. If I have retained some forms of rather an injudicious or equivocal description, I believe there are none liable to any very particular exceptions, into whatever hands they may fall.
I omitted to state, in its proper place (Vol. 2. p. 379) that in the low fever of horses, attended with sudden great debility, antimonial wine, with a moderate quantity of laudanum, given at intervals, in acidulated and sweetened herb drinks, has often succeeded, when the common doses of nitre and cremor tartar have had a nauseating and debilitating effect.
My acknowledgements to Doctor Downing have been sufficiently liberal. The Doctor's book, I have, at last discovered, to be a tolerably accurate copy of Topham on the Diseases of Cattle. The composition of this last is the strangest medley of good sense, and ineffable nonsense, that I have ever perused ; and it afforded me as hearty a laugh, as I have enjoyed from reading Rabelais or Cervantes. The manuscript, I should conjecture, of some person of the name of Topham, fell into the hands of the school-master, exciseman, or clerk of the parish. It is Pipes's second edition of his master's love letter,
After the late recommendation of Bull-baiting from such high authority, it is disheartening to offer any thing on the subject of justice and kindness to beasts. It is almost equally discouraging, to reflect on the total want of discrimination, from mere passion and prejudice, in the professed advocates of humanity. In real probability, this last is the greater bar to reform. How are we to reconcile a classification of Bull-baiting, Boxing, and Horse-racing, with the genuine logic of humanity or common sense? The principle of the first is totally inadmissible on the score of barbarity and injustice, and a pure defect of necessity. It is against the improper practice solely, of the other, that a word can be urged. Are we to abolish the use of wine, because mad, men and fools get drunk? Is there no difference between staking the abhorrent and fear-stricken animal to the torture, and voluntary combats--none between extreme and lingering torments, and euthanasia, or easy death?
The amateurs of TROTTING, in the Metropolis, have lately witnessed the extraordinary performances of the brown mare Phenomena. In her first great match, she trotted seventeen miles, in somewhat less than fifty-three minutes, carrying five stone. I in vain laboured for a number of years, to convince our trotting jockeys of the proportional effect of weight in that pace; my book, however (Vol. I. p. 242) has succeeded, where I personally failed. Little doubt can now remain, that one or two of the horses named in the chapter on trotting, were able to have performed twenty miles in one hour; and that with much less injury to themselves, than usually accrued from their performances with high weights.
It is requested of the classical reader to pardon the adoption of the spurious word equestrian, which has, some how or other, crept into use, in writings of this species; he will do the author an additional favour by furnishing him with a more legitimate term.
a due and laudable act of complacence in the individual, to follow established custom-I therefore write a Preface: and, as I have
generally observed, that long-winded prefaces are flighted, I am resolved mine shall not be of that description.
But I have a motive of greater weight. It behoves me, not only out of that high respect which I owe the Public—but also, in justice to myself, to apologize for the weak and defective, and, too probably, prolix and tedious execution of the ensuing work; which, in truth, is the offspring of a mind not the most brilliant by nature, enfeebled, and rendered confused and irritable from chronic bodily weakness, and of a memory, at intervals, scarce sufficiently retentive for the ordinary purposes of life. If it be demanded, why write, then ?-My answer is,
I have been impelled by two of the most powerful incentives in nature.
Thus much being premised, the Reader will not expect to find, in my book, that ornamented and polished style, so much the delight and rage of the present period, a copious and entertaining range of imagination, or the curiosa felicitas of expression; such are the pleafing attributes of happier writers : he will no doubt rest content, provided he meets with the true and the useful only; in which, I presume to flatter myself, he will not be totally disappointed. However it may turn out,
may be assured, that what I have set before him, is the best, in all respects, in my power to provide, under the alledged circumstances.
There will be found, in the course of the work, certain allusions, and indeed open professions, which may, perhaps, be held by many of too free a nature, or extraneous to the subjećt; but let it be good-naturedly remembered, that minds of a certain cast are not at all times in their own government; that it is a little hard that truth should require an apology; that an effential to the propagation of it, is to leave