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BOOKING HORSES.

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BOOKING HORSES. Some say tht docking i- ertiel, others that it is not; but both sides agree that the practice is all but universal says the Field. No one, probably, will deny that docking must be accompanied by a certain amount of pain-at any rate, at the moment; yet five minutes after the operation the horse shows no sign of having experienced any inconvenience. He will eat his corn as usual, and will lie down. Still, people who dock horses have some better reason for defend- ing the practice than the assertion that the pain is but little it is unquestionably safe in the case of horses intended for carriage work. One critic asserted that, with a good coachman on the box, a horse would never get his tail over the reins. If we all drove omnibuses this might be true, but since Victorias, T-carts, mail phaetons, Battlesden cars, and four-wheeled basket carriages are in fashion, it seems to us that I with them no amount of coachmanship would enable the reins to be kept clear of a long tail. Even in the country, getting the rein under the tail is a predica- ment that has caused accidents enough; but in Lon- don, as in any town, it is ten times worse. In a matter of this kind we should naturally look to the opinion of experts, were it not that a long series of law cases have shown what strange things experts now and then depose to. On the question of docking, a veterinary surgeon of eminence recently stated that it was easier to drive a horse with a long than with a short dock, though unluckily no reasons for the opinion are given. Another critic on the question of docking writes that, in one instance, the operation of docking produced tetanus. Possibly; but this proves nothing. Last year several persons died from the sting of wasps, yet no one on that account would argue that the natural result of a sting is to cause death. So far, then, as harness horses are con- cerned, we are inclined to think that docking is a necessity. In the case of hunters, the question may admit of a little more argument. Docking is no doubt convenient, because a hunter with a flowing tail would give the groom a considerable amount of extra work In muddy weather, and if there were no docking, another and still more painful operation, especially in the case of underbred horses, would be encouraged, Viz., pulling out the hairs from the end of the dock. It may be used as an argument against docking, that racehorses are not docked. That, however, is simply the result of fashion, and not from any conviction that docking is either unnecessary or cruel. Up to about fifty years ago, racehorses were universally docked, and, if the pictures of the period are to be JfUstedj the docks were very short.

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MR. RUSSELL LOWELL ON BROWNING.

--------------_-" THE ART…

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THE FATAL FIRE IN LONDON.

AN ASSOCIATION OF MURDERERS.

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--------------i-:L.jLN EPITOME…

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