Oscar Wilde.

Lady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest online

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Cromwell, when Protector, and was the sire of Woruiwood Commoner, and
the great grandams of Windham, Grey Ramsden and Cartouch.

3. Royal Mares: King Charles the Second sent abroad the master of the
horse, to procure a number of foreign horses and mares for breeding, and the
mares brought over by him (as also many of their produce) have since been>
called Royal Mares.

4. Dodsworth, though foaled in England, was a natural Barb. His dam, a.
Barb mare, was imported in the time of Charles the Second, and was called a
Royal Mare. She was sold by the studmaster, after the king's death, for
forty gu neas, at twenty years old, when in foal (by the Helmsley Turk) with
Vixen, dam of the Old Child Mare.

5. The Stradling or Lister Turk was brought into England by the Duke of
Berwick, from the siege of Buda, in the reign of James the Second. He got
Snake, the D. of Kingston's Brisk and Piping Peg, Coneyskins, the dam of
Hip, and the grandam of Bolton Sweepstakes.

6. The Byerly Turk was Captain Byerly's charger in Ireland, in King-
William's wars (1869, etc.). He did not cover many bred mares, but was the
sire of D. of Kingston's Sprite, who was thought nearly as good as Leedes;
the D. of Rutland's Black Hearty and Archer, and the D. of Devonshire's
Basto, Ld. Bristol's Grasshopper, and Ld. Godolphin's Byerly Gelding, all in
good forms: Halloway's Jigg, a middling horse; and Knightley's Mare, in a.
very good form.

7. Greyhound. The cover of this foal was in Barbary, after which both
his sire and dam were purchased, and brought into England by Mr. Marshall.
He was got by King William's White Barb Chillaby. out of Slugey, a natural
Barb Mare. Greyhound got the D. of Wharton's Othello, said to have beat
Chanter easily in a trial, giving him a stone, but who, falling lame, ran only
one match in public, against a bad horse; he also got Panton's Whitefoot, a
very good horse; Osmyn, a very fleet horse and in good form for his size; the
D. of Wharton's Rake, a middling horse; Ld. Halifax's Sampson, Goliah and
Favorite, pretty good 12-stone Plate horses; Desdemona, and other good
mares, and several ordinary Plate horses, who ran in the North where he .was
a common stallion and covered many of the best mares.

8. The D'Arcy White Turk was the sire of Old Hautboy, Grey Royal,
Cannon, etc.


9. The D'Arcy Yellow Turk was the sire of Spanker, Brimmer, and the
:great-great-grandam of Cartouch.

10. The Marshall or Selaby Turk was the property of Mr. Marshall's
brother, studinaster to King William, Queen Anne, and King George the first.
He got the Curwen Old Spot, the dain of Windham, the dam of Derby Tickle-
pitcher, and great-grandam of Bolton Sloven and Fearnought.

11. Curweu's Bay Barb was a present to Louis the Fourteenth from Muley
Ishmael, King of Morocco, and was brougbt into England by Mr. ('urwen,
who being in France when Count Byram and Count Thoulouse (two natural
sons of Louis the Fourteenth) were, the former, master of the horse, and the
latter an admiral, he procured of them two Barb horses, both of which proved
excellent stallions, and were well known by the names of the Curwen Bay
Barb and the Thoulouse Barb. Curwen's Bay Barb got Mixbury and Tantivy,
both very excellent formed Galloways. The first of them was only thirteen
hands two inches high, and yet there were not more than two horses of his
time that could beat him at light weights. Brocklesby, Little George, Yellow
Jack, Bay Jack, Monkey, Dangerfield, Hip, Peacock, and Flatface, the first
two in good forms, the rest middling; two Mixburys, full brothers to the first
Mixbury, middling Galloways; Long Meg, Brocklesby Betty, and Creeping
Molly, extraordinarily high-formed mares; Whiteneck, Mistake, Sparkler,
and Lightfoot, very good mares, and several middling Galloways, who ran for
Plates in the North. He got two full sisters to Mixbury, one of whicb bred
Partner, Little Scar, Soreheels and the dam of Crab; the other was the dam of
<4uiet. Silver Eye and Hazard. He did not cover many mares except Mr.
Curwen's and Mr. Pelham's.

13. The Thoulouse Barb became afterward the property of Sir J. Parsons
And was the sire of Bagpiper, Blacklegs, Mr. Panton's Molly, and the dam of

13. Darley's Arabian was brought over by a brother of Mr. Darley, of
Yorkshire, who, being an agent in merchandise abroad, became member of a
hunting club, by which means he acquired interest to procure this horse. He
was the sire of Childers, and also got Almanzor, a very good horse; a white-
legged horse of the D. of Somerset's, full brother to Almanzor, and thought to
be as good, but meeting with an accident, he never ran in public; Cupid and
Brisk, good horses; Daedalus, a very swift horse; Dart, Shipjack, Maica and
Aleppo, good Plate horses, though out of bad mares; Ld. Lonsdale's Mare in
very good form, and Ld. Tracy's Mare in a good one for Plates. He covered
very few mares except Mr. Darley's, who had very few well-bred mares be-
sides Almanzor's Dam.

14. Sir J. William's Turk (more commonly called the Honeywood Arabian)
got Mr. Honeywood's two True Blues; the elder of them was the best Plate
horse in England, for four or five years; the younger was in very high form
and got the Rumford Gelding, and Ld. Onslow's Grey Hor.se, middling horses out
of road mares. It is not known that this Turk covered any bred mares except
the dam of the two True Blues.

15. The Belgrade Turk was taken at the siege of Belgrade, by Gen. Merci,
and sent by him to the Prince de Craon, from whom he was a present to the
Prince of Lorraine. He was afterward purchased by Sir Marmaduke Wyvill,
and died in his possession about 1740.


16. Croft's Bay Barb was got by Chillaby, out of the Moonah Barb Mare.

17. The Godolphin Arabian was imported by Mr. Coke, at whose death he
became (together with Cade, Kegulus, etc., then young) the property of Ld.
Godolphin. His first employment was that of a teaser to Hobgoblin, who, re-
fusing to cover Roxana, she was put to the Arabian, and from that cover pro-
duced Lath, the first of his get. He was also_ sire of Cade, Regulus, Blank,
etc., and what is considered very remarkable, as well as a strong proof of his
excellence as a stallion, there is not a superior horse now on the turf without a
cross of the Godolphin Arabian, neither has there been for several years past.
He was a brown bay, with no white, except on the off heel behind, and about
fifteen hands high (a pi ture of him is in the library at Gog Magog, Cambridge-
shire). It is not known to what particular race of the Arab breed, indeed it
has been asserted that he was a Barb. He died at Gog Magog in 1753, in or
about the 29th year of his age. The story of his playfellow, the black cat,
must not be omitted here, especially as an erroneous account has got abroad,
copied from the first introduction to the present work. Instead of his grieving
for the loss of the cat she survived him, though but for a short time; she sat
upon him after he was dead in the building erected for him, and followed him
to the place where he was buried under a gateway near the running stable; sat
upon him there till he was buried, then went away, and never was seen again,
till found dead in the hayloft.

18. The Cullen Arabian was brought over by Mr. Nosco and was sire of Mr.
Warren's Camillus, Ld. Orford's Matron, Mr. Gorges' Sour Face, the dam of
Regulator, etc., etc.

19. The Coomb Arabian (sometimes called the Pigot Arabian and sometimes
the Bolingliroke Grey Arabian) was the sire of Methodist, the dam of Crop,
etc., etc.

20. The Compton Barb, more commonly called the Sedley Arabian, was sire
of Coquette, Greyling, etc.

(Additions in 1808 Edition.)

21. King James the First bought an Arabian of Mr Markham, a merchant,
for 500gs.. said (but with little probability) to have been the first of the breed
ever seen in England. The Duke of Newcastle says, in his treatise on Horse-
manship, that he had seen the above Arabian, and describes him as a small
bay horse, and not of very excellent .shape.

22. Bloody Buttocks; nothing further can be traced from the papers of the
late Mr. Crofts than that he was a grey Arabian, with a red mark on his
hip. from whence he derived his name.

23. The Vernon Arabian was a small chestnut horse. He covered at High-
flyer H. 11, and was the sire of Alert, etc. Alert had good speed for a short

24 & 25. The Wellesley Grey, and Chestnut Arabians (so called) were
brought from the East, but evidently not .\rabians. The former was a horse
of good shape, with the size and substance of an English hunter.

This list of twenty-seven different animals, which for the sake'
of convenience I have numbered, was presented to the public

THE English: race horse. 71

more than a hundred years ago by Mr. Weatherby, the highest of
all English authorities, as the foundation stock from which the
English race horse was propagated. The uniform omission of
dates of importations, etc., discloses the fact that the compiler
had no accurate knowledge of the animals or their history, and
that he was dependent largely upon very uncertain traditions for
his information. It must not be understood that the animals in
this list were contemporaneous, or that the list embraces all the
foreign animals that were brought in, but only those that were
recognized as of value in founding the breed.

To understand just what we have to consider, I will place here,
in juxtaposition to the above list, the remark of Admiral Kous, at
one time the great race-horse authority of England, which ex-
presses the popular opinion as to the origin of the race horse,
that is practically universally held in all lands. The admiral
says: "The British race horse is a pure Eastern exotic whose
pedigree may be traced two thousand years, thq true sou of
Arabia Deserta, without a drop of English blood." To reach
the approximate truth on the issue here made, and to puncture
this extravaganza is the work now before us.

Numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, were Turks, and to these we
may add Mr. Darley's horse, known as the Darley Arabian, num-
ber 13, for he was brought from Aleppo in Turkey, far removed
from Arabia, and famous for the great numbers and excellence of
its horses many centuries before Arabia had any horses. To carry
horses, for sale, from the deserts of Arabia, where they are
scarce, to the region of Aleppo, where they are very plenty, and
of the highest quality, would be simply "carrying coals to New-
castle." We may therefore safely conclude that the ten horses
here enumerated were Turks.

Numbers 4, 7, 11, 12, 16, 20 were Barbs, as they are named in
the list. It is a surprise to me that these six horses should be
designated as "Barbs," for it has been the usage of many gener-
ations to call these horses "Arabians." As late as 1819 the Dey
of Algiers sent several Algerine horses as a present to the Prince
Regent of England, and they were always spoken of as "Arabians. "

Numbers 17, 18, 19, 21,22, 23, 24, 25 are all unsatisfactory as to
their origin. Number 17 — Lord Godolphin's horse — is wholly
unknown as to his blood elements, and further on his history will
be considered. Number 18 "was brought over," but from
whence nobody knows. Number 19 is in the same condition, and


not one of his different owners has been able to tell us anything
about his origin. Number 21 was, possibly, an Arabian, but the
Duke of Newcastle, who knew the horse well, seems to have
doubted his genuineness on account of his inferiority. However
this mity have been, he preceded other importations so many
years that it is not known that he ever sired a colt, and as a pro-
genitor we may as well strike him out. Number 22 seems to be
in darlcness, and all efforts to find his origin having failed he may
as well be classed as unknown. Number 23 is furnished with no
evidence that he was entitled to be classed as an Arabian. Num-
bers 24 and 25 were confessedly not genuine.

This reduces the analysis to its lowest form and shows that in
the original foundation stock, including Mr. Barley's horse (13),
there were ten Turks and six Barbs that can be accepted with
reasonable certainty. This leaves eight so-called "Arabians, ""
from which we must eliminate numbers 17, 21, 24, 25, leaving
numbers 18, 19, 22, 23, without any evidence whatever that they
were Arabians except in name. From these four rather obscure
animals, therefore, according to the Rous dictum, the English
race horse must have derived every drop of his blood; and yet
there is not a scintilla of evidence either direct or inferential that
any one of them, or the ancestors of any one of them, ever saw
Arabia. From the custom of calling every horse from abroad
an "Arabian," that has prevailed in England for more than two
hundred years, it is fair to conclude that there was no Arabian
blood in the foundation stock. It was the blood of the Turks
and the Barbs, commingled with that of the native blood that had
been bred to race for centuries, that furnished the foundation of
the modern English and American race horse.

Blood in the race horse is an imperative necessity, but it must
be blood that has been carefully selected from winners, and raced
for generations, or it is of no value as an element of speed. If
the English race horse had been a strictly pure exotic from
Arabia Deserta, as Admiral Rous maintained, he would have
been of no value either as a race horse or the progenitor of race
horses, without many generations of careful selection and develop-
ment of speed.

The Godolphin Arabian was altogether the greatest horse of
his century. He flourished during most of the reign of King
George II., but the horsemen of the world, even Englishmen
themselves, know far more about him than they do about the


reign of that monarch. Still, nobody knows anything of his
birthplace, his origin or his blood. He was to the English race
horse what Eysdyk's Hambletonian has been to the American
trotter. Neither of them was ever in a race, but each of them
stood immeasurably superior to all others of his day as a pro-
genitor of speed, at his own gait. From the latter we had reason
to expect speed because we knew he inherited speed, but from
the former we had no reason to expect anything, for we knew
nothing of what he inherited until he proved his inheritance by
what he transmitted to his progeny. Some of the principal semi-
tragic incidents, so far as known in the early life of Godolphiu
Arabian, were seized upon by the great novelist Eugene Sue, and
out of them grew a "horse novel" from his gifted pen. The
horse was foaled about 1734, was brought to England from France
about 1730, and died at Magog Hills, 1753. There seems to be a
substantial agreement among those who had the best opportuni-
ties to know that the horse was employed on the streets of Paris
as a common drudge in a cart and driven by a brutal master. A
Mr. Coke, who is represented to have been a Quaker, was in Paris
on business and he happened to witness the brutality of the
ruffian who was this horse's master in trying to make him draw a
load of wood up a steep acclivity on to a new bridge, which the
horse after repeated trials and clubbings was unable to accom-
plish. To relieve the poor brute from his sufferings, Mr. Coke's
feelings of humanity asserted themselves, and he stepped forward
and bought the horse on the spot and had him released from the
cart. Mr. Coke, it is said, brought the horse to London and pre-
sented him to Mr. Williams, the proprietor of a famous coffee-
house, and Mr. Williams presented him to Earl Godolphin.

In September, 1829, Mr. John S. Skinner commenced the publi-
cation of the first horse magazine that ever appeared in this
country, and in the first number there appeared a steel engraving
purporting to be executed by the famous Stubbs and to represent
the great horse, Godolphin Arabian. Not many years afterward
I came into possession of a copy of this publication from the be-
ginning, and the sight of this picture always impressed me as the
most ludicrous abortion of the likeness of a horse that could be
conceived of. The neck was absolutely longer than the body,
the legs were about strong enough for a sheep, and all over it
lacked strength of both muscle and bone to a most absurd extent.
When this picture appeared in London, some years before, it was


laughed at by all artists as well as by all men who knew anything
about the shape of a horse, as a monstrosity, and it was received
in the same spirit on this side of the water; but it bore the name
of a great artist and that was sufficient to secure the approbation
of the unthinking and the unknowing. The only key to the
origin of the horse, the only pedigree that can be given, must be
found written in his own structure of bone and muscle and
brain. A true delineation, therefore, of his form and shape be-
came a matter of the highest moment, not merely to satisfy the
curiosity of the curious, but as a study of the true sources of his
wonderful prepotency.

Sixty-five years ago a correspondent of Mr. Skinner's maga-
zine, referred to above, and a descendant of Mr. Samuel Gallo-
way of Maryland, spoke of an oil painting of Godolphin Arabian
that had hung in the hall at Tulip Hill from the days of his
childhood as still hanging there, and said that it was wholly
unlike the Stubbs engraving. Mr. Galloway was one of Mary-
land's land barons, an enthusiastic horse breeder, and a success-
ful horse racer. He was educated at Cambridge, I think; and if
so, no doubt he saw Godolphin Arabian many times before he
died, for he was within four or five miles of him, and his sport-
ing instincts could not fail to take him to see so great a horse
when so near at hand. As he was a young man of great wealth
and great ambitions, it is quite probable he was on terms of
friendly acquaintance, if not intimacy, with Lord Godolphin, and
thus secured the oil painting from that distinguished friend him-
self. This theory is strengthened by the fact that the picture
still bears the coat of arms of Lord Godolphin.

To reach and secure this picture, or at least a faithful copy of
it, became an object of continuous effort that was never inter-
mitted for more than twenty years. At last, in the spring of
1877, one of the correspondents of Wallace's Montldij, Prof. M. C.
Ellzey, of Blacksburg, Virginia, wrote me that the picture was
then the property of Dr. J. H. Murray (whose wife was a lineal
descendant of Mr. Galloway) of Cedar Park, adjoining Tulip Hill,
West River, Maryland, and that he would have the picture sent
to me. In a few days it arrived, and when my eyes rested upon
it, it was like the feast of a lifetime; for there was all that could
ever be known of the greatest horse of his century. The paint-
ing was in a state of excellent preservation and the coat of arms
of Lord Godolphin was plainly traceable. The horse is shown


from his right side, in his rough, paddock condition, with his
right hind foot a little advanced, and his head low and without
any animation or excitement. The standpoint of the artist is a
little forward of the shoulders, and he must have been a tall man
or the horse must have been a low horse, or perhaps both, for
he sees over the horse and portrays the fine spring of muscle over
the loin, on the opposite side of the vertebra. From the position
of the artist the drawing is slightly foreshortened, and this, to-
gether with the advance of his right hind foot, intensifies the
droop of the rump, to some degree, in the outline. From the
proportions, as shown in the painting, I would conclude he was
below fourteen and a half hands high rather than above it. His
head is striking and unusually large for an animal of his size,
with remarkable width between the eyes, and without a star to
lighten it up. His ear is not fine, and it droops backward as he
stands, as if half-asleep. His mane is sparse and in disorder.
His throat-latch is very good, and the windpipe large and well
developed. The neck is of a fair length for a horse of his blocky
formation, and there is nothing unusual about it except its great
depth at the collar place. The slope of the shoulder is very
marked and shows his ability to carry his head in the air when
he wished to do so, but the shoulder itself is coarse and angular
to an unusual degree. His withers rise very abruptly and there
is great perpendicular depth tlirough the carcass at this point.
His back is remarkably short and the spread and arch of his loins
is simply magnificent. But the point of superlative excellence is
in the remarkable development of power in his quarters. His
limbs, instead of being ''spider legs," are unusually strong for
an animal of his size; indeed, they might be considered coarse
for any horse that was pretended to be a race horse. His tail is
of the usual weight and somewhat wavy. AVith the addition that
there is a little white at the coronet of the right hind foot,
and not forgetting his friend and companion the cat, I have
made a somewhat detailed description of what is represented in
the painting. Several artists examined the picture, and they
pronounced it the work of an artist of ability and experience.
The signature ''D. M. pinxt" was carefully examined, but no
one was able to throw any light upon the name represented by
the initial letters "D. M."

While this painting contained within itself evidence of its
great value as a likeness of its subject, it lacked confirmation


as "true to the life;" and nothing could supply this
lack but to find a portrait of the same horse, painted by another
artist, and then if the two agreed, the proof would be fully satis-
fying to the understanding. A little over a hundred years ago
Lord Francis Grodolphin Osborne, Duke of Leeds, and heir to
Lord Grodolphin, wrote Sir Charles Bunbury, a great race-horse
man, that he had a painting of Godolphin Arabian, by Wootton,
at Gog Magog Hills. Over sixty years ago an American gentle-
man wrote to Mr. Skinner's magazine that he had seen a paint-
ing of Grodolphin Arabian hanging in Houghton Hall, Norfolk.
In 1878 my physician told me I must quit work for awhile, and
that I had better visit the great Exposition at Paris that year. I
was anxious to see the Fair, but I was a great deal more anxious
to see those two paintings of Godolphin Arabian, if they were
still in existence. Gog Magog Hills is a quaint old place, and the
origin and meaning of its name is lost in a very remote antiquity.
As it has not been the residence of its owners for more than a
hundred years, it is much neglected. The people in charge were
very obliging, and I was immediately admitted to the view of
Wootton's painting of Godolphin Arabian. The first glance was
a complete vindication of the truthfulness of the Maryland paint-
ing as a true likeness in every important feature of the outline
and proportions. The canvas is about four and a half by four
feet, inclosed in a massive frame. After studying it and com-
paring it, point by point for more than an hour, with a copy of
the Maryland painting, it became evident they were not painted
by the same hand, although the horse had the same position in
both pictures, with the exception that the right hind foot was-
thrown backward in the Wootton painting instead of forward,
and thus gave a less abrupt droop of the rump. The head was
precisely the same shape, but in the large painting the articula-
tions were less distinct and expressive.

After a little peregrination through Norfolk, studying the
"Norfolk Trotter" as then called, but since called "Hackney,"
on his "native heath," I reached Houghton Hall, in Norfolk.
This grand old place was built over a hundred and sixty years
ago by the famous Sir Kobert Walpole, and at that time it was
considered the most splendid structure, as a gentleman's country
seat, in all England. For many years it has been the property
of the Marquis of Cholmondeley, but is not often occupied as a
residence. Here too, I was lucky, for upon my entrance to th&


picture gallery, about the first object upon which my eye rested
was the painting of the Godolphin Arabian, and the first impres-
sion was that there must be "spooks" around, for that seemed
certainly the Maryland picture I was looking at. I had it taken
down and removed to a good light, and there the whole mystery
was removed. It is difficult to compare two peas. All you can

Online LibraryOscar WildeLady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest → online text (page 9 of 61)