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Give me another horse! bind up my wounds !
SHAKSPEARE, King Richard III., Act V. Sc. 3.

Better an ass that carries than a horse that throws.-Proverb.

ONE of the anxieties inseparable from any office requiring frequent external ceremonial-such as the holding of reviews and parades, street processions, and the like-is lest the animal which is ridden by the chief actor should comport itself in a manner unworthy of the situation and the office.

In London I have seen several catastrophes on such occasions either experienced or but narrowly escaped. I remember how on the occasion of the first Jubilee of Queen Victoria a near relative of the Royal Family, to whom a friend had lent what was reported to be a particularly safe mount, was deposited on the ground with great violence before the procession had passed Constitution Hill, and failed in consequence to appear at the Abbey.

I recall the funeral procession of King Edward, when the corpulent form of Ferdinand of Bulgaria had to be held up on his horse by two men walking on either side of the bridle, lest a similar disaster should befall their royal master. I remember the

pictures of King Peter of Serbia, on his coronation day at Belgrade, being similarly sustained on his horse, lest the royal crown and sceptre, together with the royal form, should be mingled with the dust. From my windows in Carlton House Terrace I have often seen the horses ridden by grooms following the troops back from the rehearsals of the trooping of the colour on the Horse Guards Parade, in order that on the actual day these animals might not betray their more eminent riders. Even in distant Korea I recall the spectacle of the chief Court dignitaries, on their way to the palace at Söul, propped up by running attendants on the small ponies which they bestrode, lest perchance they should slip to the ground.

When I went to India, I was a little disconcerted by terrifying stories of the experiences that had befallen some of my predecessors. One of them, when holding the New Year's parade on the Maidan at Calcutta, was already in his position, mounted, and in full sight of the enormous crowd, when suddenly the rattle of the feu de joie, running along the long line of troops, caused his steed to start; off fell his topé and was caught by the strap round his neck; and in this absurd plight he was carried at full gallop across the parade ground until arrested by the "thin red line of 'eroes" on the far side. Another Viceroy narrowly escaped a similar fate; for Lady Canning records in one of her letters that, her husband having mounted her own horse Tortoiseshell for a military parade at Barrackpore, the animal so misbehaved that he had to exchange

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horses with an A.D.C. in the middle of the royal salute, for fear of a catastrophe. Yet another Viceroy, taking advantage of the option so appositely pointed out by the Psalmist, that "some put their trust in chariots and some in horses ", had solved the difficulty or escaped the peril by not merely eschewing horseback, and attending the parade in a landau, but by having the animals taken out of the vehicle when he arrived on the ground, so that his security was beyond risk.

On one such occasion I had a piece of great good luck myself, for, intending to ride a new horse at the parade, I sent a groom out on him at the rehearsal two days before. The feu de joie was too much for the animal, particularly at 7.30 A.M. in the morning, when the air is very crisp and the temperature low, and the rider met his fate on terra firma.

The feu de joie was indeed looked forward to by the spectators at the annual parade at Calcutta with almost delirious expectation, particularly if the Admiral of the East India Squadron and his staff, who used to come up the river in the flagship at Christmas time, were attending the function, as they were always bidden to do. The scene was apt to be diverting. But I record that on one occasion one of my Admirals and the whole of his staff, on a very jumpy" morning, sat their steeds like centaurs when the ordeal came, and covered themselves with an undying renown.


In official entries on horseback into a city or town, the moment of greatest anxiety was when one came opposite the massed school-children, who

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