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"We have again to lament the delay which has 
taken place in bringing out a Yoliime of this popular 
Work ; and although not in the order we promised 
in our last advertisement, we have now the pleasure 
of publishing the present, from the pen and pencil of 
a most distinguished contributor, one which cannot 
fail of interesting all classes ; for the Horse is, in- 
deed, in the concluding words of the Author, '•■ the 
animal destined by Almighty Wisdom to be the 
solace and servant of man." 

In our last publication we anticipated that the 
Natural History of the Marsupialia, or pouched 
animals, would have taken precedence of this Vo- 
lume, but, from unavoidable delay, it must be our 
next in order. 

We are most happy to be able now to assure onr 
Subscribers of the steady progress of this Work 
until the Forty Volumes are completed, — that on 
the subject just mentioned, and the first on the 
Fishes of the Essequibo and Guiana, by Mr. Schom- 
burgk, are far advanced, indeed almost ready for 


publication, — while all the remainder are in a state 
of great progress. 

We avail ourselves of inserting the following very 
interesting Letter from Major Gwatkin, the informa- 
tion contained in which would have been introduced 
in our pages, had they not been printed off before 
its receipt ; and we now beg leave to offer, in this 
place, our best acknowledgments to our friend the 
talented Author, Colonel C. Hamilton Smith, for 
the great pains he has bestowed in his researches, 
and the promptitude with which he has carried the 
Volume through the press. 

;}, St. James' Square, Edinburgh, 
May 4, 1841. 

Extract of a Letter to Col. Hamilton Smith, tcritten 
since the Wo?^k went to Press, and received front 
Major Gicatkin., Superintendent of the Hon. East 
India Company's Stud in Northern India. Dated 
Camp, \ijth February^ 1841. 

. . . " I am glad to find you in a measure confirm 
an impression I have taken up, that the Arab is a 
pure and almost a distinct breed. I have at times 
brought the Arab blood to the notice of the British 
public by occasional letters in Mr. Pitman's Sporting 
Magazine. The Arabs are particular in continuing 
the purity of their blood, and to it all the best horses 
bred, in what we term India, more or less, owe 
their origin, on the side of the sire. We have in 


India as many variations in figure, general form, 
temper, &c. as in the different counties of England. 

" The original mare of India is very inferior in 
shape, and generally a jade, with narrow chest, 
drooping mean quarters, and if beyond fourteen 
hands three inches, runs to leg ; even to this day, 
after the importation of many English horses^ this 
defect continues, and you never meet that great 
length, with depth of brisket, which is so distin- 
guishing a mark of the English horse, without the 
fault of a long back. 

" In the stud of Haupper, the native breeders 
select whichever stallion pleases their fancy ; for 
judgment they have none : size is their best recom- 
mendation. At the central stud, the stallions are 
located within a space of fifty square miles, and are 
more under the immediate control of the officers, 
because the mares are the property of the govern- 
ment; but even there the same fault exists, after 
so many years of attention, and above fifteen hands 
the breed is leggy. 

" The Tattoo, or pony of the country, is strong 
but cross made; generally employed in carrying 
burthens : those bred about Patna and in Bengal 
have certainly a cross of the ' Duckney ' or of the 
Arab, and are superior to those of our more northern 
possessions. The real native horses of the Dooab 
(between the Ganges and the Jumna) were for- 
merly a weedy coarse breed, but for a century have 
been undergoing improvement ; and within the last 
twenty years it has been great ; for anteriorly the 


Persian and Duckney stallions had but partially 
advanced it, but since that time, when the Haupper 
stud was established by the India Company, the 
merit is become so decided, that out of five hundred 
and seven yearlings bought by the superintendent 
for the service, five hundred and six passed muster 
when they were four years old. 

" There are, or I should say there was, a class of 
horse called the Jungle Tauzie ; they sprung from 
the common mare and the real Eraun Tauzie stal- 
lion ; they were in some consideration, but are now 
very scarce. Some twenty-five years ago, many horses 
were imported into Upper India from Bokhara, and 
were called northern horses; their chief character 
was a very fine head, but with a very long back. 

" From the Bokhara hills, we obtain a species of 
galloway called ' Ghoonts,' and another caste called 
' Toorkees ;' the latter again are distinguished by 
the term * Rahwals,' which means amblers, and 
' Chargoseahs,' meaning ears cut, not cropped, but 
slit from the top. 

" There is also a breed of horse called ' Ma- 
jinis,' which means mixture. The breed is a cross 
from the real Eraun Tauzie and Turkoman with the 
Bokhara mare : they have also a mixture of the 
Arabian sire. The ' Majinis' is the battle-horse 
of the Rajpoot, and in the days of turmoil amongst 
the native chieftains, was considered the best and 
noblest in the field ; having a fine generous temper, 
large bone, great strength, hardy, and long lived. 
Three and four thousand rupees was a common 


sura given for one. The chieftains of Rajpoo- 
tanah often gave much more to the Persian mer- 
chants uho brought them down to this the Seik 

" From the Majinis sprung another class called 
the ' Raje Darra,' bred in the vicinity of Pokhur. 
Again, we have a breed called ' Kutch,' or ' Kah- 
tcawar ;' Kutch being the country where the mares 
are bred. The sire is the Arab : they are active, 
but not thought lasting, and generally sulk on the 
spur. They are generally greys or light duns, and 
almost invariably have the zebra marks on the 
arms and thighs, with list down the back." This, 
I suspect, is the horse referred to by Bishop Heber. 

" Another breed is the * Duckanee,' from the 
Deckan ; they are from an Arab sire and native mare, 
and highly prized. Those called the ' Bhemra ' are 
the best. Other classes are distinguished in this 
breed by the country of their dams, — ' Mecundase,' 
' Chunddase,' ' Najpore,' &c. 

" The colours of horses by the Hindoo Shasters 
are three: — 1. Sheah Jannoo^ or bay, — the terra 
means black points ; 2. Soorimg, chestnut or red ; 
3. NooJcra^ white, with black eyes and skin. 

" I have met horses in India, brought from beyond 
Caubul, so curiously spotted, you would declare they 
were painted. I know of one which I shall probably 
see again in the course of the month. Mr. Reynolds 
Gwatkin, who is with me, says he will take a 
sketch for you and send it by next mail." . . . 



Memoir op Gesner . . . : 17 

Natural History op the Equid-e. — Introduction . 59 

Breeds of Horses noticed by the Ancients . . 106 

Medo-Persian Horse, ancient maned Dun Stock, from 
Bas-reliefs of the Che-el-minar Plate A. fig. 1. — 
Egyptian Horse, Ancient Bay Stock, from Thebes, 

Plate A. fig. 2 83, 109 

Skeleton of the Horse, Plate I. 

External Muscles of the Horse, Plate H. 

The WUd Horse ..... 146 

The Tarpan Wild Horse, primaeval Bay Stock, from a 

Drawing sent from Russia, Plate IH. . . 160 

Feral Horses of America . . . .173 

The Equid^ in General . . . .186 

The Horse. Equus caballus . . . .192 

The Domestic Horse. Equus caballus domesticus . 192 
Races and Breeds of Domestic Horses . . 208 

The Arabian Race. Plate VIII. . . .210 

The Barb of Morocco . . . .224 

The Shrubat-iu:-reech, grey, of the Morocco Desert, 

from the print published in Italy, Plate XI. . 227 

The Bornou White Race of Africa, drawn from life by 

Col. Hamilton Smith, Plate X. . . . 228 

The Dongola white-footed Black, from the Lithograph 
published in Italy. It represents the horse which 
carried a Mameliike chief from the Upper Nile across 
the Desert to Tunis ! Plate X.* . . 229 




The Turkish Race . . . . .231 

The Persian ...... 233 

The Toorkee Races . . . . .238 

East Indian Races (see Advertisement, p. viii.) . 241 

The Paramero of Peru, from a beautiful Model done 

in Peru. Plate XII. . . . .248 

The English Breeds of Horses . . .250 

The English Race-horse. Eclipse, from the print, 
« drawn to scale by Sainbel. Plate IX. . . 253 

The Villous Horse, primeval White Stock, drawn from 

life by Col. Hamilton Smith. Plate IV. . . 262 

Marengo Arab, once the property of the Emperor Bo- 
naparte, white breed of the Bay Stock, from the 
print. Plate VIII. .... 262 

Crisp-haired Horse, probable original Stock of the 
Black Horse, draAvn from life by Col. Hamilton 
Smith. Plate V. . . . .266 

The English Draught Horse, Black Race, from life, by 

Col. Hamilton Smith. Plate XIII. . . 269 

Decussated Horse, Eelback Dun of the Ukraine, drawn 

from life by Col. Hamilton Smith. Plate VI. . 274 
Head of Hungarian Horse, with slit septum naris, from 

a drawing by Zoffani. Plate XXXI. . . 278 

Shetland Pony, from life, by Mr. Stewart. Plate XV. 283 
The Saran Race ..... 287 

The Tangum, or Tangan, Piebald primaeval Stock of 
Tibet, domesticated race of Sikim, Lower Tibet ; 
drawing sent from India. Plate VII. . . 288 

The Koomrah (by mistake named Lalisio), Equusliip- 

pagrus, from life, by Col. Hamilton Smith. PI. XVI. 294 
The Asinine Group ..... 298 

The Yo-to-tze (by mistake named Hippagrus), Asinus 

equuhiis, from life, by Col. Ham. Smith. PI. XVII. 304 
The Onager, Asinus onager^ from life, by CoL Hamil- 
ton Smith. Plate XVIII. . . . .307 

The Wild Ass of Persia, Asinus luimar, from Sir R. 

Kerr Porter. Plate XIX. . . .313 



The Domestic Ass. Asinus domesticus 

The Djiggetai (by mistake engraved Quagga Male), 

Asinus hemionus, from the print, An. Lithograph., of 

Fred. Cuvier. Plate XX. 
The Hippotigrine Group of Zebras 
The Zebra Male, from life, by Col. Hamilton Smith 

Plate XXI. .... 

The Angola Dauw, Hlppotigrvi antiquorum, by Mr, 

Stewart. Plate XXII. . 
Dauw Mare and Colt, Hippotigris Burchelli, by Mr 

Stewart. Plate XXIII. ... 
The Quagga, Hippotigris quacha, from life, by Col. Ha- 
milton Smith. Plate XXIV. 
The Isabella Quagga, Hippotigris isahellinus, from spe 

cimen in the British Museum, by Col. Hamilton 

Smith. Plate XXV. 
The Mules ..... 
Brood IVIare and third Foal, with marks of Quagga 

from the paintings by Agasse, in Surgeons' College, 

London. Plate XIV. 
Filley, bearing ditto, from ditto. Plate XXVI. 
Colt, bearing ditto, from ditto. Plate XXVII. 
Hybrid first Foal of Brood Mare and Quagga, from 

ditto. Plate XXIX. ... 

Hybrid Ass and Zebra, from drawing by Mr. Stewart 

Plate XXVIII. . . . . , 

The Hinny, from a drawing made at Paris, by Col 

Hamilton Smith. Plate XXX. 

Portrait of Gesner . . • . 

Vignette Title-page .... 










In all Thirty-five Plates in this Volurna, 



A. Medo-Persian and Egyptian Horses, from ancient 

Bas-reliefs . . . . . 83, 109 

1. Skeleton of the Horse. 

2. External Muscles of the Horse. 

3. The Tarpan Wild Horse, primaeval Bay Stock . 160 

4. The Villous Horse, primaeval White Stock . 262 

5. Crisp-haired Horse, probable original Black Stock 266 

6. Decussated Horse, Eelback Dun of the Ukraine . 274 

7. The Tangum Pielald, primaeval Stock of Tibet . 288 

8. Marengo Arab, once the property of the Emperor 

Bonaparte, white breed of the Bay Stock . 262 

9. Eclipse. The English Race-horse . . 253 

10. The Bornou White Race of Africa . . 228 
10.*The Dongola Race . . . .229 

11. The Shrubat-ur-reech .... 227 

12. The Paramero of Peru . . . .248 

13. The English Draught Horse, Black Race . 269 

14. Brood Mare and third Foal, with marks of Quagga 342 

15. Shetland Pony ..... 283 

16. The Koomrah. Equus Mppagrus . . 294 

17. The Yo-to-tze. Asinus equuleus . . . 304 

18. The Onager. Asinus onagei' . . , 307 

19. The AVild Ass of Persia. Asinus hamar . . 313 

20. The Djiggetai. Asinus hemionus . . . 317 

21. The Male Zebra ..... 321 

22. The Angola Dauw. Hipj)otigris antiquorum . 327 

23. Dauw Mare and Colt. Hippotigris Burchelli . 329 

24. The Quagga. Hippotigris quacha . . 330 

25. The Isabella Quagga. Hippotigris isabellinus . 332 

26. Filley, bearing marks of Quagga . . . 342 

27. Colt, third issue of Brood Mare, and second by a 

Black Arab ..... 342 

28. Hybrid Ass and Zebra . . . . 343 

29. Hybrid first Foal of Brood Mare and Quagga . 342 

30. The Hinny ..... 346 

31. Head of Hungarian Horse, with slit septum naxis 278 

Portrait op Gesner 
Vignette Title-page . 

In all Thirty-five Plates in this Volume. 


In several of the biographical memoirs accompany- 
ing former volumes of this Work, we have, given 
a record of the labours, and attempted to appreciate 
the merits, of some of the most eminent naturalists 
who flourished in the sixteenth century. Such of 
them belonging to that early period as deserve to 
be held in remembrance, are comparatively few in 
number ; but these few are entitled to our warmest 
gratitude. It was by their means that Natural 
History was enabled to emerge from the obscurity 
in which it was sunk, in common with every other 
department of knowledge, during the long intellec- 
tual night of the dark ages. The generations who 
may be described as having " eyes but who saw 
not, ears but heard not, and understandings but un- 
derstood not," had given place to others in which 
the senses and faculties were beginning to be con- 
verted to their proper use. Individuals apjDeared 
in various countries making observations for them- 
selves, collecting and appropriating the knowledge 
which had been transmitted by the sages of Greece 



and Rome, and, in short, accomplishing, though in 
a smaller degree, for natural history, what Dante, 
Petrarch, and others, had previously done for lite- 

Among the small band of congenial spirits by 
whom this result was brought about, there is none 
more meritorious than Conrad Gesner. Indeed, 
when we consider his high scholarship, indefatigable 
industry, general kno^- ' ' dge of natural history, and 
the influence which 1 tks have had on the pro- 

gress of knowledge, n .aay perhaps bo doing him 
injustice not to assign him the first place. We 
should not at least hesitate to do so, were we to 
trust implicitly to the eulogiums that have been 
passed on him by his admirers, for he has been 
affirmed to be the greatest naturalist the world had 
seen since Aristotle, the discoverer of the only true 
principles of a botanical arrangement in the flower 
and fruit, to which the very existence of botany as 
a science is owing, — as the German Pliny, a pro- 
digy of diligence, learning, and penetration. Even 
the more philosophical and discerning judgment of 
Cuvier allows him a high degree of merit, which 
will, we think, be fully borne out by the character 
of his works hereafter to be examined. 

Conrad Gesner was bom at Zurich on the 26th 
March, 1516. His parents were in very humble 
circumstances ; his father. Ours Gesner, being a 
worker in hides, and his mother, Barbara Friccia, 
of a very poor though respectable family. Having 


a numerous offspring besides Conrad, his parents 
could do little to encourage the love for reading and 
learning which he showed at an eprly period. But 
his maternal uncle, John Friccius, who was a minis- 
ter, did every thing in his power to promote the 
talents which he could not fail to discover in his 
young relative ; and it was to this individual that 
Conrad was indebted for the rudiments of his edu- 
cation. Besides instructir ' '"him in the elements of 
literature, his uncle insj ' 'liim w4th a love for 
the study of plants, from Which the transition be- 
came easy to other branches of natural history. 
He had a garden well supplied with plants, in- 
cluding many of the rarest kinds then known, the 
care of which was in a great measure entrusted to 
young Gesner, who even at this early period, ac- 
quired some reputation in his immediate neighbour- 
hood as an herbalist. But before his progress had 
been considerable, this valuable friend was removed 
by death, and Gesner's prospects assumed a very 
unpromising aspect. He was taken for a while, 
however, into the family of John James Ammianus, 
a professor of polite literature, who gratuitously 
superintended his studies, and showed him many 
acts of kindness otherwise for a period of three years. 
Shortly after the death of his uncle, his father, 
who was engaged in the civil wars of Switzerland, 
was killed in the battle of Zug (the same in which 
the famous reformer Zwingli us perished); and thus 
deprived o^ any assistance that might be expected 
from that quarter, he was thrown entirely on his 


own resources. He was at this time about fifteen 
years of age. 

He proved for a time, however, so unfortunate in 
obtaining the means of prosecuting his studies, that 
he was reduced to great extremities ; and he is even 
said, by one of his biographers, to have repaired to 
Strasburg and engaged himself as a servant. * The 
same authority on which this statement is made 
informs us, that his master soon discovered his 
strong incUnation for study, and was so indulgent 
as to afford him every opportunity of doing so, 
consistently with the duties of his station. The 
knowledge he now acquired, added to his previous 
attainments, rendered his scholarship highly respec- 
table, and he was employed for a time by Capiton, 
a distinguished scholar of the day, to assist him in 
his literary labours. With the means acquired in 
these various w^ays, and aided by a contribution 
from the prebendaries of Zurich, who manifested 
considerable interest in the welfare of their towns- 
man, he was enabled to repair to Bourges and com- 
mence the study of medicine, a profession which 
both expediency and inclination led him to adopt. 
Subsequently to this, and when he was about 
eighteen years of age, he visited Paris, where he 
remained for a considerable time, devoting himself 
entirely to the acquisition of different branches of 
learning, and completing his acquaintance with the 

* This circumstance is not mentioned by Schmicdel, one of 
Geaner's ablest biographers, and may therefore be considered 
as (questionable. 


ancient languages of Greece and Rome, in which he 
attained more than usual proficiency. During his 
residence in the French capital his circumstances 
were often much straitened, and he was frequently 
relieved on these occasions by a young Bernoin of 
noble family, named Steiger, with whom he h?.d 
contracted a friendship. But all his resources were 
ultimately exhausted, and he was obliged to return 
to Strasburg, in the hope that his friends in that 
city would be able to obtain for him some employ- 
ment either as a private or public teacher. Here, 
however, his stay was very short, for we find that, 
in 1 536, he returned to his native place, and opened 
a school for teaching the languages and philosophy. 

He was now about twenty years of age, and 
although his professional studies were far from being 
completed, and his situation in life unsatisfactory 
and precarious, he thought proper to marry ; and 
notwithstanding the remonstrances of his friends on 
the imprudence of such a step, under the circum- 
stances, he never appears to have had the least 
reason to regret having taken it, but in every 
respect the contrary. 

We are not informed what success attended him 
in his capacity as an instructor of youth, but while 
so employed he conciliated the good will of the 
magistrates of Zurich, who, appreciating his learn- 
ing and abilities, sought to obtain him the means of 
turning them to better account. Through their in- 
fluence and support, he was enabled to repair to 
Basle for the purpose of resuming his medical 



studies, which had suffered a considerable interrup- 
tion. His residence there, however, was but short, 
not upwards of a year, for the senate of Berne had 
founded an academy at Lausanne, and prevailed on 
him to become one of the teachers. Here he conti- 
nued for about three years, employed, most of that 
time, in teaching Greek. His worldly circum- 
stances being by this time greatly improved, he 
was enabled to reside for about a year at Mont- 
pellier, then the seat of a celebrated school of me- 
dicine, and the resort of learned men from all parts 
of Europe. Here he formed a friendship w4th Ron- 
delet, professor of medicine at Montpellier, and one 
of the ablest naturalists of his age, whose excellent 
work, De piscihus mmHnis^* illustrated with wood- 
cuts of great merit, has rendered his name known 
and honoured even in the present day. It was, in 
all probability, owing to his intercourse with this 
naturalist, and others then residing at Montpellier, 
that his predilection for the study of Nature w^as 
fully confirmed, and the resolution, w^hich he ap- 
pears to have formed at a very early period of his 
life, of illustrating it by his writings, first carried 
into effect. 

* Gulielmi Rondeletii Libri de piscibus marinis, in quibus 
vcKB Piscium effigies exprcssoe sunt. Lugduni, 1.554, 1 vol. 
fol. The figures are rudely engi-aved, as might be expected 
from the state of the art at that period, but the outlines are in 
general accurate, and highly characteristic of the species. We 
will not say this much, however, for the Bishop-fish, and some 
others, which afford curious instances of the credulity of 
the age. 


After many vicissitudes, the most important of 
which have already been alluded to, he obtained his 
degree of doctor of medicine at Basle in 1540, being 
then in his twenty-fourth year. * He shortly after- 
wards settled as a medical practitioner in Zurich, 
and his success was such that he was enabled to 
devote a portion both of his time and money to the 
prosecution of the studies which he had so much at 
heart. He even had it in his power to make excur- 
sions, at intervals, through various parts of Switzer- 
land, Savoy, &c. in search of plants and other natural 
objects; and, in 1545, he paid a visit to Venice, 
where he became acquainted with many individuals 
who were in a condition to promote his views, and 
where he had an opportunity of consulting many 
rare books and manuscripts, whence he derived 
valuable materials for his numerous works both on 
literature and natural history. While there, he de- 
voted much of his time to the examination of the 
fishes of the Mediterranean, writing descriptions of 
them, and getting drawings made by the best artists 
he could obtain. 

From this period the life of Gesner w^as of a 
pretty uniform tenor, and afibrds not very many 
incidents of sufficient interest to be deserving of 
minute record. Every moment of his time was 

* It is worth while to mention the subject of Gesner's 
Thesis, as an example of the questions then discussed on such 
occasions : — I. An cerebrum sit principium sensus et motus, 
an CD! ? II. An qui crescunt, plurimum habeant calidi in- 
nati ? III. An qualitates formse sint elementorum ? 


employed on the numerous works he had on hand, 
and scarcely a year elapsed in which he did not lay 
several before the public. The most important of 
these will be afterwards alluded to ; the mere enu- 
meration of their titles would occupy a large space ; 
many of them, moreover, were only of temporary 
value, and a particular account of these could not 
be of much interest in the present day. The cele- 
brity which Gesner had now acquired, both as a 
scholar and naturalist, caused his correspondence to 
be courted by most of the learned of Europe ; and 
we find him in communication with nearly all 
those whose names have come down to us as pro- 
moters of learning and science. His botanical gar- 
den included many of the rarest and most curious 
plants then known ; and the numerous specimens 
of natural objects sent to him for examination, formed 
the basis of a general museum. Much of his time 
was spent in the most zealous exertions to collect 
materials for his history of animals and plants; 
his reading was interrupted only for the purpose 
(to use the words of one of his biographers), 
" domi et foris videndo, subinde sciscitando a qui- 
busvis doctis, indoctis, civibus, peregrinis, ventori- 
bus, piscatoribus, aucupibus, pastoribus, et omni 
hominum genere," in order that his works on these 
subjects might be more perfect than any that pre- 
ceded them. 

In the midst of his multifarious occupations con- 
nected with literature and natural history, he con- 
tinued his practice as a physician ; and, indeed, it 


was from this source that his income was princi- 
pally derived. In 1554 the magistrates of Zurich 
appointed him chief physician (agxiccr^og)^ and pub- 
lic professor of philosophy and natural history, an 
honour which he justly merited, and which he 
seems to have valued highly. He had scarcely at- 
tained this more influential sphere of action, than 
he exerted himself to turn it to the public good ; 
and he succeeded in establishing an association of 
medical men to watch over the public health. By 
these means, a college of medicine and surgery was 
ultimately established ; and Gesner may thus bo 
regarded as the founder of an establishment which 
has been of great service to the city of Zurich up 
to the present day. 

His natural history expeditions into various parts 
of Switzerland, Germany, &c., were frequent, and 
he had an additional motive for undertaking them 
besides his love of collecting, for his constitution 
was naturally feeble, and he had still further im- 
paired it by ardent study. Among other excur- 
sions of less note, we find, that in the year 1555, 
he visited Lucerne and the places adjacent, in com- 
pany with two brother physicians, and a draftsman 
named John Thoma. He was received with dis- 
tinguished honours by the magistrates of that place, 
— honours such as were wont to be paid only to 
those invested with offices of public authority. He 
asked permission, as was then the custom, to ascend 
Mont Pilate (mons fr actus )^ and a public officer 
was appointed to conduct him, and guard him from 


danger ; for the well-known superstition regarding 
the vicinity of this mountain, was at that time in 
full force. He ascended on the 21st of August, 
passing the night in a hay-loft. He carefully 
examined everything in which he felt interested, 
and a few days after his return home, published an 
account of the mountain, along with his curious 
treatise, " De Lunariis." ■^' 

It has just been stated that Gesner was of a deli- 
cate constitution, and this circumstance had a con- 
siderable influence on his proceedings during several 
of the latter years of his life. While a youth, he 
was threatened with general dropsy, and although 
the immediate effects of this malady were overcome, 
it seems to have produced a permanent debility, 
which peculiarly exposed him to the inroads of other 
disorders. In 1565 we find him complaining, in a 
letter to a friend, of an affection of the brain, which he 
says lasted nearly nine years. In 1559 he was afflicted 
with calculus, and used all the remedies then in 
vogue, against that excruciating disease. He like- 
wise tried to find relief by travelling, as he was 
wont to do on like occasions. Some of his friends 
at the court of Ferdinand, Emperor of Germany, 
thought that his visit to that country on this 
occasion, afforded a good opportunity of introduc- 
ing him to that monarch, to whom his celebrity as 

* Conr. Gesneri, dc raris et admirandis herbis, quas sivc 
quod noctu luceaut, sivc alias ob causas, Lunarise nominantur, 
&c. Ejusdem descriptio montis fracti, sire mentis Pilati, 
jaxta Lucernam in Helvetia. Tigurini, 4to. (without the year). 


a scholar and naturalist were well known. His 
reception was highly flattering, and led the way 
to several important favours, which he afterwards 
received from the hands of the emperor. On this 
journey, Gesner likewise visited Ulm, and ulti- 
mately repaired to the warm baths of Baden, that 
he might try their effect on his health. These 
proved more beneficial than he anticipated, and he 
returned to Zurich greatly invigorated both in body 
and mind. 

The following year he was much occupied in 
forming a new botanic garden, to facilitate the study 
of plants, which now engaged a large share of his 
attention, as he designed to publish a general his- 
tory of vegetables. Shortly after his appointment 
to the professorship of natural history, he had em- 
ployed his increased means in building a museum, 
of such extent, that it contained fifteen windows. 
These windows (we translate the description of his 
biographer, Schmiedel), he ornamented in a manner 
as unusual, as it was agreeable ; on each of them 
he painted most elegantly on the glass, arranged 
according to their classes, different species of marine, 
river, and lacustrine fishes. His shelves contained 
an immense quantity of metals, stones, gems, and 
other natural productions, which he had either ob- 
tained as presents from his friends, or purchased. The 
most liberal of the contributors to his museum was 
his friend Kentmann, who, among other objects, 
presented him with a collection of fossil fishes, and 
a great many different kinds of metals. Amidst 


these riches of nature, he was often wont to spend 
his time, seeking tranquiUity of mind from the con- 
templation of them, and refreshing himself after the 
numerous toils and vexations of life, from which the 
best are not exempted."'' As a necessary adjunct 
to this museum, he now enlarged and enriched his 
botanic garden, stimulated thereto by having wit- 
nessed the superiority of that of Didymus Obrecht 
at Strasburg. He obtained rare plants from most 
parts of Europe, in particular from France, Italy, 
Britain, Germany, and Poland, and it contained 
many of the most curious kinds found in his own 
country, which is of such great interest in this re- 
spect, as well as in most other of its natural 

Towards the close of 1560, his health again gave 
way ; he was afflicted with severe pain in the 
limbs, and almost entirely lost the use of his right 
leg. Having tried various remedies, without de- 
riving much benefit, he again repaired to Baden, 
and the baths so far restored him, that he was able, 
in the beginring of 1561, to visit many different 
parts, both of Germany and Switzerland. He tra- 
versed the Rhetian Alps, ascended Mount Braulius, 
and penetrated into several of the most retired parts 
of the country. Part of the Venetian territory was 
likewise included in this extended expedition, the 
chief object of which was the improvement of his 
health, one, however, quite compatible w^itli the 
study of botany, which he prosecuted with unwea- 
* Sclimieders Vita Conradi Gesncri^ p. xxiii. 


ried zeal. The advantagfe he derived from the warm 
springs of Baden, seems to have likewise turned his 
attention to various mineral springs in Switzerland, 
with a view to ascertain their medicinal properties. 
The water of some of these he used as a bath, and 
others, of a chalybeate nature, were taken internally. 
These various restoratives, in connexion with his 
long travel, bodily exercise, and the agreeable society 
of friends, of w^hom he had many scattered over the 
whole country, so improved his health, that we find 
him writing, on his return, to one of his friends, 
that he was now stronger than he had been for 
many years. Among other fruits of this expedition, 
his herbarium, garden, and museum, received large 

He now enjoyed a respite for some time from his 
various maladies, and we accordingly find him im- 
mersed in a multitude of literary undertakings, in- 
cluding several publications on botany. It was 
probably, in a great measure, in consequence of the 
too great exertions thereby entailed, that he was so 
soon again compelled (in the month of August 1 562) 
to seek relief from the waters of Baden, whither he 
repaired, for the third time, in company with his 
wife, whose health had been all along as precarious 
as his own. By using the waters in a manner 
somewhat different from his former practice, he 
speedily became convalescent, and in order to fol- 
low up this favourable change, as he had been 
accustomed to do on former occasions, by long con- 
tinued exercise in the open air, he invited his friend 


John Bauhine, the well-known botanist, to accom- 
pany him back to Zurich on foot, that they might 
have abetter opportunity of conversing by the way on 
the subject of tlieir common study. This arrange- 
ment, however, could not be effected, and Gesner 
returned alone. It was soon after this that he 
wrote a long letter to the English botanist. Turner, 
in which he gave a particular account of all his 
writings up to that date. 

Although Gesner at no time jieglected any of the 
great branches of natural history, but used every 
exertion to improve his various works, which may 
be said to embrace them all ; yet, during the two 
or three last years of his life, botany was his prin- 
cipal study. One of the great objects of his ambi- 
tion was, as has been already intimated, to produce 
a history of plants, and foreseeing, doubtless, that 
his life was not destined to be a long one, he re- 
doubled his exertions to attain the purpose he had 
so much at heart. This formed his chief occupa- 
tion in 1563. He had plants in a living state 
brought to him from all parts of the country ; 
Bauhine sent him many dried specimens ; and even 
when his health was most precarious, he was in the 
habit of swimming in the lake of Zurich and others 
in that neighbourhood, for the purpose of collecting 
aquatic species. The utmost exertions were at the 
same time made to have these plants drawn and en- 
graved, which was done entirely at his own expense. 
The number, qualities, and ultimate destiny of the 
engravings thus accumulated, we shall afterwards 


have occasion to allude to. This, and numerous 
other avocations, both of a literary and profes- 
sional nature, were interrupted by a recurrence of 
his old complaints, w^liich occasioned a fourth visit 
to Baden, the only quarter to which he was now 
accustomed to look for relief, nor were his expec- 
tations disappointed even on this extreme occasion. 
Knowing the favourable opinion which the Em- 
peror Ferdinand entertained of his services to science 
and literature, Gesner felt desirous of obtaining some 
public expression of his regard, not only as an en- 
couragement to others to follow his example, but 
as an honorary distinction to his family. This was 
no sooner intimated by his friends, Alexander, 
Amorfort, and Craton, physicians to the court, than 
the wish was immediately complied with; and letters 
patent were issued granting armorial bearings to 
Gesner and his family, with a statement of the cir- 
cumstances for which this honour was conferred. 
"Without attempting to describe the shield in the 
technical language of heraldry, it may suffice to say, 
that the devices were all emblematical of the sub- 
jects which Gesner had illustrated by his writings. 
Each of the four quarters was occupied by an ani- 
mal — an eagle with expanded wings, a lion ram- 
pant, a basilisk, and a crowned dolphin ; the crest, 
a swan sitting on a crown of laurel, with three stars 
on its breast, and a like number on each of its ex- 
panded wings. As Gesner was childless, he obtained 
permission that the same arms should be borne by 
his uncle, Andrew Gesner, an old man of eighty. 


as well as his offspring, who were very numerous. 
This honour was accompanied by another mark of 
the Emperor s esteem, which our naturalist valued 
highly, namely, a present of some fragments of bezoir 
stone, which was then very rare, and held in high 

Subsequently to this he again visited Baden, and 
for the last time. On his return he was greatly 
distressed by the death of his mother, to whom he 
was very warmly attached : this event took place 
in April 1564. Soon after, the plague, which had 
for some time raged in Basle, made its appearance 
in Zurich ; and Gesner, both on account of his pro- 
fessional experience and scientific skill, was looked 
to more than any other individual for some means 
of checking its ravages. He was not slow in de- 
voting himself to the inquiry ; and the result of his 
investigations soon appeared in a work on the nature 
of the contagion and the best means of cure. He 
was fully sensible of the risk he incurred by visiting 
so many patients, and had a strong presentiment 
that he was himself to be a victim. In a dream, 
which made a great impression on him, he thought 
that he was bitten by a serpent ; this he interpreted 
to denote the attack of the disease ; and he wrote 
to several of his friends to intimate that he was now 
preparing himself for another world. For the pre- 
sent, however, it pleased Providence to spare him. 
The severity of the disease gradually abated, and 
Gesner was enabled to resume his former occupa- 
tions, and for a considerable time to labour at his 


favourite work on plants, and likewise another on 
the nature of stones and fossils. 

Although the pestilence had abated, it had 
never entirely left Zurich and its neighbourhood, 
and about the middle of July, 1565, it again 
broke out in that city with greater virulence than 
before. Gesner witnessed its approach with tran- 
quillity ; but his presentiment again returned, and 
he endeavoured to make preparation for the great 
change which he believed to be near. He was 
seized with the disorder on the 9th of Decem- 
ber, when it had a second time greatly moderated, 
and he had again almost overcome his apprehen- 
sions. A large pestilential carbuncle made its ap- 
pearance under his right arm, but it was accom- 
panied with no pain in the head, fever, or other 
bad symptom. His strength was so little reduced, 
that he continued to walk about his apartment, 
only reclining occasionally on a couch. But he 
had seen many die with precisely the same symp- 
toms, and from the first he indulged no expecta- 
tions of recovery. He therefore called together 
his friends, and delivered to them his will, in 
which he made some provision for his wife and 
nephews, and appointed his only surviving sister 
his heiress. His library and manuscripts were en- 
trusted to Caspar "Wolf, formerly his pupil, and 
latterly his colleague, with injunctions that his 
writings should be carefully perused and arranged, 
and such of them published as were likely to be 


These matters arranged, his whole thoughts were 
turned to futurity, and he conversed calmly with 
Henry Bellinger and John Simler (two clergymen 
with whom he had lived on terms of the most inti- 
mate friendship), using words of hope and resig- 
nation. The fifth day after the commencement of 
his disorder, his medical attendants saw that death 
was near ; but he thought himself better, and de- 
clined having any one to sit by his bed-side during 
the night. About eleven o'clock, however, of the 
same night, he became conscious that his strength 
could hold out very little longer against the violence 
of the disease ; and calling his attendants, he re- 
quested that they would carry him into his museum, 
where he had caused a bed to be prepared for him 
the day before. It was in this place, the scene of 
many a laborious study, and among the objects 
which he had collected with such indefatigable zeal, 
that he breathed his last, in the arms of his wife, 
on the 13th December, 1565, not having quite com- 
pleted his fiftieth year. 

The whole city was thrown into mourning by 
Gesner's death, and his funeral, which took place on 
the following day, was attended by a large con- 
course of people of all ranks. He was interred in 
the cloister of the great church of Zurich, near the 
tomb of his intimate friend Frisius, who died the 
preceding year. His funeral oration was pronounced 
by Simler, who afterwards became his biographer. 
Many verses, both Greek and Latin, were written 
in his praise ; and among the authors of these we 


find Theodore Beza, and many others of scarcely 
inferior name. 

It may be inferred, from what has been already 
said regarding the frailty of Gesner's constitution, 
that there was little likelihood of his attaining an 
advanced age, even if he had escaped the contagion 
which carried him off. The delicacy of his health 
was indicated by a paUid and almost emaciated 
countenance, the general expression of which was, 
however, highly agreeable, and indicative of great 
sensibiUty. His forehead was broad, high, and pro- 
minent, marked with numerous deep WTinkles, the 
result of severe study and profound thought. His 
nose was long and elevated, w ithout being aquiline ; 
his lips thin ; mouth expressive and agreeable. His 
beard was copious, long and dense, slightly curled 
or undulating, " lenitatis ingenii indicium esse 
potest," says his biographer Schmiedel, on whose 
authority we wish the statement to rest. Various 
portraits exist, corresponding to this description; 
that prefixed to this memoir is taken from one 
which w^e regard as the most characteristic. 

The voluminous works of Gesner may be di- 
vided into three classes ; first, those on literary 
subjects; secondly, those relating to medicine and 
the materia medica ; and, thirdly, those on natural 

As it is most appropriate to the purpose we have 
at present in view to consider Gesner as a natju- 
ralist, we do not propose to enter, in this place, into 
a very minute detail of his numerous productions 


on the two former of these subjects; but some 
account of them is necessary to enable us to form 
an idea of the extent of his acquirements, his extra- 
ordinary powers of application, and the wonderful 
fertility of his genius. Shortly after obtaining his 
degree, he published numerous translations of Greek 
treatises, on various subjects of literature and criti- 
cism, an edition of Martial, &c., besides editing 
several works for his friends. Of the latter we may 
mention that of his friend Moibau, of whose work 
on Dioscorides he superintended the publication, in 
order that the friends of the author might obtain 
the emoluments : that of Valerius Cordus, " De 
Historia Plantarum," a zealous naturalist, who died 
at Rome at the early age of twenty-nine ; and 
lastly, tlie " Lexicon Rei Herbarise Trilinque" of 
his friend Kyber, who was carried off by the plague 
at Strasburg at an equally early age. But his most 
important work in this department was his Bihlio- 
theca Universalis^ the object of which was not only 
to give the titles of all the works tlien known, in 
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, whether actually exist- 
ing or lost, but to afford some knowledge of their 
contents, a specimen of their style, and a critical 
estimate of the merits of the respective authors. 
The idea w^as an excellent one, and has, as is well 
known, been often acted upon since. It is said 
to have suggested to Haller the plan of his Bib- 
liotheca Britannica, and Biblioth. Anatomica. The 
first part of the work was published at Zurich in 
1545. This contained the names of tlic authors 


arranged alphabetically. The second part, which 
he called the Pandects, appeared in ] 548, divided 
into nineteen books, and arranged according to the 
nature of the subjects : the twentieth book was to 
be devoted to medical subjects, but was never 
finished, as the author was unable to satisfy himself 
as to its completeness and accuracy; the twenty-first 
embraced theological authors and did not appear till 
about a year after the rest.* Many editions of 
Greek and Latin authors, with notes and commen- 
taries, were pubhshed by Gcsner, as well as several 
Dictionaries, amended and enlarged, such as the 
Latin Lexicon Amhr. Calepini, Greek Dictionary 
of Favorini, &c. He likewise published many por- 
tions of Greek manuscripts which he had copied 
during his travels in Italy and Venice, such as the 
Aphorisms of Abbas Maximus, Institutions of Theo- 
philus, the Oration of Tatianus Assyrius, translating 
several of them into Latin, and adding explanatory 
notes ; besides many other treatises relating to an- 
cient literature. One of the most curious and in- 
genious of his productions on literary subjects was 
published in 1555, under the name of Mithridates, 
or an inquiry " De difFerentiis linguarum," an inves- 
tigation for which his extensive acquaintance both 
with ancient and contemporaneous languages ad- 
mirably qualified him. He originated many views 
in this work which have been more fully developed 

* An abridgment of the Bib. Universalis^ with the addition 
of a good deal of new matter, by Simler and J. J. Fries, was 
pubUshed at Zurich in 1583, 1 vol. fol. 


since by authors who have neglected to mention the 
source from which they derived them. 

Medical men have often expressed their regret 
that the portion of the Bib. Universalis relating to 
the literature of the healing art was never com- 
pleted; the materials which Gesner had amassed 
were certainly extensive (he expressly affirms so in 
a letter to one of his friends), and their publication 
would have been desirable, even although they fell 
short of his own wishes. This desideratum, how- 
ever, was to a certain extent supplied by the publi- 
cation, in 1555, of a large volume entitled, " De 
Chirurgia Scriptores optimi quique veteres et recen- 
tiores, plerique in Germania ante hac non editi, 
nunc a Conr. Gesnero in unum conjuncti volumen," 
to which various treatises on medical subjects are 
appended. Many small treatises on medical sub- 
jects emanated at different times from his prolific 
pen. He published more than one edition of Ga- 
len ; that of the date 1562 was enriched with pro- 
legomena, an elaborate life of Galen, and a very 
full list of the authors who had in any way illus- 
trated his doctrines. With a view to induce medical 
men to co-operate with each other, and communi- 
cate their discoveries for the general good, he pub- 
lished, in 1552, what he called " Thesaurus de 
remediis secretis," &c. This at first appeared under 
the fictitious name of Euonymus ; but it came into 
great request, and was afterwards laid before the 
public in an enlarged and amended form, with the 
name of the author attached. " Libelli tres medi- 


cinales ; uiius de sanitate tuenda ; alter contra luxus 
conviviorum; tertius contra notas astrologicas Ephe- 
meridum in secandis venis ;" were printed at Zurich 
in 1556. He was likewise the author, or editor, of 
several other small works and treatises on subjects 
similar to those mentioned, hut we cannot here 
afford space for a full list of them. A little work, 
" De lacte," treating of milk and its various pre- 
parations, which appeared in 1543, may, from the 
mode in which the subject is treated, be regarded as 
a contribution to medical dietetics. 

We shall now proceed to give some account of 
his principal works on Natural History, and shall 
first mention his " Historia Animalium," for that 
is the work with which Gesner's name is usually 
associated, and on which his reputation principally 
depends. It is certainly a singular mass of matter, 
original and compiled, displaying a degree of erudi- 
tion, research, and industry, which might well lead 
us, as has been remarked, to believe, that instead of 
being the work of a physician, who raised and 
maintained himself by his practice, and who was 
cut off in the midst of a most active and useful life, 
it w^as the labour of a recluse, shut up for an age in 
his study, and never diverted from his object by any 
other cares. He had conceived the design of such 
an undertaking at an early period of his life, but it 
is not probable, when we consider his other avoca- 
tions, that much of it was executed till a few years 
before its appearance. The numerous friends in 
various parts of Europe whom his reputation for 


learning had procured him, encouraged his design 
by transmitting specimens, and remarks on the ani- 
mals of their respective countries.* The jour- 
neys also which he had an opportimity of making, 
afforded him a rich harvest of materials, of which 
he did not fail to avail himself to the uttermost. 
Still it is surprising how he could accomplish so 
much, in the comparatively limited time which he 
could devote to the task. 

The work in question is divided into five books, 
generally bound up, as he himself recommended, in 
three folio volumes. The first part, printed at Zu- 
rich in 1551, treats of viviparous quadrupeds; the 
second, published in 1554, of oviparous quadrupeds ; 
the third, of the date 1 555, of birds ; and the fourth, 
1556, of fishes and other aquatic animals. The 
fifth part was a posthumous publication, drawn up 
from Gesner s manuscripts by James Carron, a phy- 
sician of Frankfort. It is said to be rarer than the 
others; it treats of serpents, and has usually ap- 
pended to it a treatise on the scorpion, published 
from our author's papers under the superintendence 
of Caspar Wolf. The two latter treatises did not 
appear till 1587, that is, twenty-two years after 
the author's decease. 

Besides this, the original edition, it may be pro- 

* In the list of contributors, to whom he expresses his obli- 
gations, we find the names of Gulielmus Turnerus, Anglus ; 
Jo. Caius, medicus Londini clarissimus ; Jo. Fauconerus, An- 
glus ; Jo. Parkhurstus, Anglus, theologus et poeta elegantissi- 
mus : and Theodorus Beza. 


per to mention that a number of others subsequently 
appeared, some in Latin, others in German, and one 
or two in French. Several of these, we believe all, 
are more or less abridged and altered in the arrange- 
ment ; some of them are designed to be mere vehi- 
cles for the woodcuts, with the addition of a portion 
of the original text in explanation of the figures. It 
is these later and less regular editions which are 
most commonly met with in libraries. 

The animals are simply arranged in the alpha- 
betical order of their Latin names ; and the account 
of each is divided into eight heads or chapters, 
referring to the following particulars : 1st, the names 
in different languages, ancient and modern ; 2d, de- 
scription of parts external and (occasionally) inter- 
nal, and varieties of the species ; 3d, various actions 
and passions, whether natural or contrary to nature ; 
4th, affections of the mind, manners, and instincts, 
&c. ; 5th, various uses to man, besides food and 
remedies; 6th, uses as food; 7th, diseases; 8th, 
philology, or references made to them by authors, 
whether in prose or verse, the epithets they have 
applied, &c. 

The general arrangement, if such it can be called, 
differs but little from that of Aristotle, the grand 
division being into land and water animals. As an 
example of his mode of subdividing a primary group 
into what he calls orders, we shall give a digest of 
his arrangement of quadrupeds : — 


Quadrupcdes aut sunt Aiviparse, aut oviparae ; illas in sex 
ordines distiibuimus. 

Coniinet igitur Quadrupeduni vivijmrarimi mansuetarxim 
Ordo 1. bestias mansuetas, qua3 armenta vel greges consti- 

tuunt ; cornutae omnes et bisulcse sunt, et ruminant, non 

utrinque dentatse ; ut boves, oves, caprse. 
• 2. ex niansuetis jumenta quae sine cornibus et solipeda 

sunt ; ut equum, sues, canes, et felem domesticam. 

Ferarum vero Quadrujyedum vivipararum qucc omnes utrinque 

dentatce sunt, 

Ordo 1. complectitur feras comutas ; ut boves, capras, cer- 

vum, elepliantum, * &.c. 
■ 2. non comutas majores : quae hominem aut alia anl- 

malia unguibus et dentibus lacdant, multifidae omnes 

praeter api'um bisulcum ; ut sunt ursus, leo, tigxis, &g. 
3. ejusdem natm-as reliquas mediae magnitudinis minus- 

que noxias ; ut sunt castor, lutra, vulpes, &c. 
• 4. minimas et murium fere generis ; quorum ea quae per 

arbores aut parictes repere et scandere possunt ; ut sunt 

cuniculus, mus, giis, talj^a, &c. 

Animalium Quadrupedum ovipararum 
Ordo 1. et ultimus, complectitur cliamaeleontem, testudinem 
terrestrem, lacertarumque et ranarum terrestrium genera. 
Nam crocodilum, ranas et lacertas aquatiles, aquatilium 
libro subjunximus. + 

At the period when Gesner wrote, any thing- 
approaching to accurate views of classification or 
arrangement could not be expected; indeed the 
importance of the subject was never thought of. 
But the above subdivisions are altogether arbitrary 
and useless ; nay, with our present notions on the 

* He regards the tusks of the elephant as horns, 
f Icones Animalium, &c. cd. sec. Tigur. 15C0, p. 8. 


subject, they cannot be regarded as otherwise than 
ludicrous. Animals are referred to diiBferent orders 
according to the accident of their being domesti- 
cated or wild ; and size is assumed as determining 
ordinal differences. Thus the lion and tiger are 
placed in one order, while their near relatives the 
panther and other smaller spotted felines, are re- 
ferred to another, magnitudinis ratione, as he him- 
self expresses it. Perhaps his division of fishes is 
preferable; but after having afforded one example 
of this kind, it is unnecessary to dwell on the 

His description and history of the animals them- 
selves cannot in general be spoken of otherwise than 
in terms of high commendation, particularly of those 
kinds w^hich fell under his own observation, the ani- 
mals of Switzerland, for example. We have at full 
length all that has been previously written respect- 
ing them, combined with much original information. 
Take the general history of hawks for an example, 
in the commencement of his volume on birds. With- 
out attempting to discriminate many of the closely 
allied kinds, — an object which can scarcely be said 
to be satisfactorily accomplished even in the present 
day, — he enters into the generalities of the family 
with considerable knowledge of their habits and 
general history ; giving instructions for rearing them 
and training them for the chace, for curing their 
disorders, &c. All this, it is true, is mixed up with 
a great deal of quaint information and obsolete 
erudition; but when these are subtracted, not a 


little sound natural history remains. As a good 
specimen of his manner, we may refer to the ac- 
count of the eagle, which extends to nearly thirty 
closely printed folio pages. Much curious informa- 
tion might be extracted from his volumes regarding 
many species of almost every order, as, for example, 
the account of the speaking nightingales ; but space 
cannot be afforded in this place for such a selection. 
We may translate, however, his short account of 
the white ox of Scotland (what is now usually 
called the Hamilton breed of cattle), which is curi- 
ous in several respects. He names it the Bison 
alhtis Scoticus, and gives a figure of the animal, 
which, however, is not so well executed as many 
of the others. " The Caledonian forest of Scot- 
land produces very white oxen, having a mane 
like that of a lion, but in other respects very similar 
to the domesticated kinds. They are so fierce, un- 
tameable, and eager to avoid human society, that 
when they feel that any plant, tree, or shrub has been 
touched by the hands of man, they continue to flee 
from it for many days. "When taken by any stra- 
tagem (which is very difficult), they die soon after 
for grief. But when they are aware that they are 
pursued by any one, they rush upon him with great 
fury and drive him to the earth. They fear neither 
dogs, hunting- spears, nor any kind of weapon. 
Their flesh is very agreeable to the taste, and parti- 
cularly in request by the nobility, although it is 
cartilaginous. Although they were wont to occur 
throughout all the forest, they are now found in 


only one part of it, which is called Cummernald ; 
the rest having been destroyed for food. This race 
of oxen," adds Gesner to the above account, which 
is partly from another author, " seems properly to 
be called the white Scottish or Caledonian bison, 
because it is maned like a lion, as Oppian writes of 
the bison." 

We must now allude to what forms not the least 
remarkable or interesting feature in this great work, 
namely, the woodcuts with which it is so copiously 
replenished. The great majoritj of the animals de- 
scribed are represented by wood-engravings, many 
of them on a large scale, those of the horse, camel, 
and swan, for example, nearly filling a folio page, 
and there are many others of equal magnitude. 
The number, it is obvious, must therefore be very 
great, almost every page presenting one or two, 
and the majority several. By far the greater num- 
ber of them are well executed, so much so in- 
deed, that several can be pointed out which would 
bear comparison with modern specimens of the art. 
The outlines, in general, are accurately drawn, and 
although the workmanship is occasionally rather 
coarse, the figures are, in most cases, not only 
perfectly recognisable, but even form faithful and cha- 
racteristic delineations. It is a matter of surprise that 
artists could then be found capable of representing 
such objects so well, and that Gesner could incur 
the expense, for he must have had what may be 
almost called a little manufactory under his charge ; 
and we are told that the artists resided in his own 


house. We find him thus modestly speaking of 
these figures in one of his prefaces : " AV^ith regard 
to the Icones, I acknowledge that they are not all 
very well drawn ; this, however, is not my fault ; but 
this is not the occasion to speak on that matter. 
Most of them are very fair and tolerable, especially 
those of quadrupeds, which may be esteemed the 
best. None of them are fictitious, as some suspect ; 
or if any of them be, they were not approved by 
me, but pointed out and censured, such as the rein- 
deer of Olaus and a few others among quadrupeds, 
some among the water animals, certain salaman- 
ders, &c. If I have not delineated such as these 
myself (that is to say, superintended the engraving) 
from the life, I have mentioned the authors from 
whom I received them, or the books from which 
they ai'e copied," &c. 

The latter remark leads us to say a few words 
respecting the numerous monsters scattered through- 
out Gesner s work, which at first sight, and on 
superficial observation, are apt to make us distrust 
his authority altogether as a veracious author, and 
indeed tend to throw an air of ridicule over the 
wdiole. A careful perusal of his text, however, will 
soon convince us that no author of early date has 
been more solicitous to guard his readers against 
mistaking what is imaginary for what is real, — for 
placing that which has been merely supposed to 
exist, on the same level with what has fallen under 
the evidence of the senses. The most remarkable 
of these ideal figures are, a marine lion, covered with 


scales, and having the face of a man ; the monk and 
bishop fish, strongly resembling the parties from 
whom they derive their names, but with the visage 
somewhat distorted, and the figure shghtly pisci- 
form; a marine Pan or Satyr; several monstrous 
cetaceous animals, with snouts like a hog, and al- 
most capable of swallowing a moderate sized ship ; 
the monoceros or unicorn; two wild men of the 
woods ; the hydra with seven heads like those of a 
human being, &c. None of these monsters origi- 
nated with Gesner; they are in every instance 
adopted from other authors, who produce a kind of 
hearsay evidence to justify their descriptions. In a 
general work like Gesner's, their entire exclusion 
would have been scarcely warrantable ; he does all 
that can be expected of him ; intimates his suspi- 
cion of their authenticity, and cites the authority on 
which they rest. With regard to the seven-headed 
dragon, the most absurd of the whole, he distinctly 
states that it is to be regarded as equally fabulous 
with Castor and Pollux, or any other fancies of the 
heathen mythology ; and mth this belief it would 
have been better to have excluded it ; but he wished 
to gratify his readers by the representation of a spe- 
cimen said to have been brought from Turkey to 
Venice, and which appears to have been so skilfully 
manufactured as to deceive for a time even the most 
incredulous. As to inany of the sea-monsters, par- 
ticularly the huge cetacea and snakes, we are not 
yet ir. a condition to say that they do not exist ; on 
the contrary, there is every reason, arising from 


tradition and the incidental reports of voyagers, to 
believe that there are such creatures, of extraordi- 
nary size and aspect, although opportunities have 
not occurred of examining them with sufficient care 
to bring them within the established categories of 
natural history. The existence of sea-snakes, of 
enormous volume, has been proved beyond question. 
But it may be asked, why figure and describe such 
inhabitants of the " bottom of the monstrous world," 
until their forms and history can be more accurately 
ascertained ? The answer of Gesner, which we give 
in his own w^ords, is judicious and satisfactory. — 
" Falsas etiam vcl prorsus vel aliqua ex parte ima- 
gines, illarum rerum, quarum veras adhuc nemo 
dederit, exhibere, modo nominato authore et nulla 
dissimulatione id fiat, non est inutile : sed occasio 
ad inquirendas ab aliquibus, aut communicandas ab 
eis qui jam habent, veras." 

One of the objects for which this great work of 
Gesner's may yet be consulted with advantage, is 
the ascertainment of the names of animals in many 
different languages. A slight glance at his syno- 
nyms often reveals the meaning of a common and 
familiar name, and the transitions through which it 
has passed before assuming its present form. The 
name marmot (to take a simple example) does not 
convey any obvious meaning ; but a very brief 
synonomy renders it obvious ; mus montanus, Lat. ; 
marmontana, or contracted, marmota, Ital. ; mur- 
montain, French^ or adopted from the Italian, mai-- 
mote ; whence the English name, a literal transla- 


tion of mountain-mouse. Most of the English 
names of animals were communicated to Gesner by 
the famous botanist, Dr. Turner. * 

This work, the most famous of Gesner's produc- 
tions, continued for a considerable period to be the 
principal authority on zoological subjects. Much of 
it was copied by Aldrovandus, in his voluminous 
compilations ; Jonson did little more than abridge 
it ; and it has formed the basis of works of much 
more recent date. 

As it was designed to be a general work on ani- 
mals, it necessarily formed part of the author s plan 
to include insects, and with this view he had col- 
lected a good many materials, but of these his early 
death prevented him making any use. His manu- 
scripts and wood-engravings on the subject fell into 
the hands of Dr. Penny, an Englishman, who was 
at that time travelling in Switzerland, and had be- 
come intimate with Gesner. It is conjectured by 
Pulteney that Penny was present at Gesner's death ; 
and, being a zealous botanist, that he assisted Wolf 
in arranging the plants of his deceased friend. How- 
ever this may be, it is well known that Penny 
studied insects with great care, t and mtist have 

* Prefixed to tlie third volume of the Frankfort edition of 
Gesner's Hist, Anim,, 1620, we find a letter from Dr. Tm-ner 
relating to English fishes. It consists of tliree pages, briefly 
describing more than fifty species ; and seems to be intended 
to give information respecting English names, which Turner 
liad carefully noted, and often added the provincial appella- 
tions.*. Pulten€y''s Sketches of Botany^ vol. 1. 

t As a proof of tliis, and as an example of the subjects ■^^'hieli 



highly valued such an acquisition as the manu- 
scripts and drawings of so distinguished a zoologist. 
The use he made of them is well known. They 
formed a portion of the work on insects published 
in England in 1634, under the title of " Insec- 
torum sive minimorum Animalium Theatrum olim 
ab Edoardo "Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque 
Pennio, inchoatum; tandem Tho. Movfeti, Londi- 
natis opera sumptibusque maxime concinnatum, 
auctum, perfectum, et ad vivum expressis iconibus 
supra quingentis illustratum." Schmiedel supposes 
that it is chiefly the figures of butterflies that were 
obtained from Gesner. These are, in most cases, 
recognisable, but they cannot be compared to the 
icons of plants. 

Although Gesner was unable to complete the 

then interested entomologists, the following extract from a let- 
ter written by Penny to Camerarius is worth quotation. " Te 
exoro, si quid ecrti de insectis sequentibus habeas, utme, cum 
otium naetus fueris, certiorem per litteras facias: TivB-^n^oiv 
Aristotelis quid sit lubenter scirem ; et an in nostris regionibus 
reperiatur? 'Bo[/,(iov>.ios vero an sit Himilen Gemianorum intel- 
ligerem? U^affoKov^U an sit species erucae, ut D. Gesnerus 
arbitratur? T^u^aXXts an sit bestiola cauda bifurca, quem 
Germani Orenmotel vocant, quamque ut arbitror, Hadr. Jujiius 
in suo nomenclatore FuUonem Plinii non reete arbitratur. 
Scias Auriculariam alas habere sub cingulo absconditas, ae 
uliquaudo volare quod idem experientia didici. Arodit flores, 
si quai alia, etc. Blattam fuetidam spero ctiam reperisse, Sca- 
labseo pilulari similis est, sed corporc magis oblongo, nee tam 
crasso ; caudam habct mucronatam, vel ut Plinius loquitur, 
acutam. Nullas habet alas, tardigradum animalciUum et valde 


great work on botany which he so anxiously con- 
templated, the result of his labours were by no 
means lost ; and these, in connexion with what he 
did publish, have proved of the greatest service to 
the science. In order to appreciate his merits in 
this respect, we have only to consider the state of 
botany at the time when it first attracted his atten- 
tion. It was considered solely as a branch of the 
materia medica. The only authors consulted on 
the subject were the ancient writers of Greece and 
Rome. Manuscripts of Theophrastus, Dioscorides, 
Pliny, and some other writers of similar character, 
had been at all times rare ; and while they conti- 
nued as manuscripts, even the meagre information 
they contained was consequently accessible to few. 
Pliny was first printed at Verona in 1448; Dios- 
corides, in Latin, at Cologne in 1478 ; and Theo- 
phrastus at Venice in 1483. Numerous editions, 
both in Latin and in Greek, soon followed, and 
these works were now in the hands of most of the 
learned. It was long, however, before the latter 
made any attempt to add to the knowledge which 
they contained ; contenting themselves by writing- 
voluminous commentaries, translations, &c. of the 
orioinal text. This continued to be the state of 
things till a good while after the commencement of 
the sixteenth century, when several individuals ap- 
peared who entered upon the study with more 
enlarged viev*^s, and a juster estimate of its import- 
ance. The following names include the most dis- 
tiniiuislied of these " Patres Botanici :" Brunsfelsius, 


Tragus, Fuchiiis, Cordiis, Csesalpinus, Clausius, 
Turner, and Gesner. They began to study in the 
fields, and instead of confining themselves to the 
closet and the musty glosses of the scholiast, en- 
deavoured to peruse the illuminated page of Nature 

The original motive with most of these, was still, 
perhaps, the laudable one of improving the materia 
medica. Gesner made great exertions for this pur- 
pose, and discovered many useful remedies, some of 
which, with slight modifications, are still in use. 
Like Sir Humphrey Davy, he frequently made 
himself the subject of his own experiments, and, as 
happened on several occasions with the eminent 
philosopher just named, he once nearly killed him- 
self by an over dose of the root of doronicum. 
When he recovered, he amused his friends by an 
account of his sensations while under its influence. 
But although the sanatory properties of herbs may 
have first led most of these individuals to investi- 
gate them, they soon ceased to be restricted by that 
consideration, and zealously studied the subject, as 
it ought to be studied, for its own sake, and irre- 
spectively of the benefit that might arise from it in 
any economical point of view. 

Several works on botanical subjects have been 
already named as edited by Gesner for his friends, 
as well as an original work of his own, " De Lu- 
nariis, &c." His earliest botanical work was entitled 
" Enchiridion Historise Plantarum, ordine Alpha- 
betico, ex Dioscoride sumtis descriptionibus, et 


multis ex Theophrasto, Plinlo et reantioribus Grsecis ; 
facultatibus autem ex Paulo Aegineta, &c.," Basle, 
1541. This, however, is deserving of little con- 
sideration, as it was a work of his youth, and pro- 
fessedly a mere compilation. In 1552 he wrote an 
elaborate preface to Tragus's History of Plants, and 
superintended the publication of the work. A long- 
letter addressed to Melch. Grilandinum, a celebrated 
botanist of Padua, in which Gesner discussed an- 
cient and modern names of plants, and many other 
matters relating to them, appeared in 1557. Several 
productions of a similar kind exist ; but it is unne- 
cessary to allude particularly to them, because the 
reputation of Gesner as a botanist rests on what 
was laid before the public long after his death. In 
the specimen, published by Caspar Wolf, of the 
plan of his great work on plants, Gesner first gives 
the various names, including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, 
and most of the modern languages of Europe ; se- 
condly, Descriptions, derived both from ancient and 
recent authors, with the addition of his own re- 
marks in reference to the leaves, roots, flower and 
fruit, habit, sex, ,&c. of the plant ; thirdly, the time 
of flowering, ripening of the seed, and places best 
adapted for germination ; fourthly, Sympathia and 
Antipathia; fifthly, Culture, and various matters 
relating to its use in agriculture and gardening; 
sixthly, the various useful purposes to which the 
plant may be converted ; seventhly, the Remedies 
prepared from it, and temperamenta ; eighthly, 


Such was the extensive plan on which the work 
was conceived. In prosecuting his task, we have 
the high authority of Sir J. E. Smith for saying, 
that he united the investigation of the external cha- 
racter of plants with a careful study of the fructifi- 
cation, the importance of which, as affording stable 
and obvious characters for the distinction of species, 
had been previously very little understood. In 
many of his figures the parts of fructification are 
delineated separately, as well as the root and other 
important parts of structure. In letters to his cor- 
respondents, he often tries to impress them with 
the necessity of attending to such parts as yielding 
the most valuable characters. The figures of the 
plants are much more accurately executed than 
those formerly spoken of as illustrating the History 
of Animals. Many of them, in fact, are finished 
with considerable delicacy ; they are highly charac- 
teristic of the habit of the plant, and display no 
small degree of freedom and skill in the drawing. 
The fate of these excellent figures we cannot better 
describe than in the words of Pulteney. * " It 
forms," he says, " a mortifying but curious anec- 
dote in the literary history of the science of botany. 
Of the fifteen hundred figures left by Gesner, pre- 
pared for his ' History of Plants,' at his death, in 
1 565, a large share passed into the Epitome Mattkioli, 
publiblied by Camerarius in 1586, which contained 
in the whole a thousand and three figures ; and in 
tiie same year, as also into a second edition in 1590, 
* Sketches of Botany, vol. i. 


they embellished an abridged translation of Matthi- 
oliis, printed under the name of the ' German Her- 
bal.' In 1609 the same blocks were used by 
UfFenbach for the herbal of Castor Durantes, printed 
at Frankfort. This publication, however, compre- 
hended only nine hundred and forty-eight of these 
icons, nearly another hundred being introduced of 
very inferior merit. After this period, Camerarius 
the younger being dead, the blocks were purchased 
by Goerlin, a bookseller of Ulm, and next serA'^ed 
for the ' Parnassius Medicinalis illustratus' of Be- 
cher, printed at that city in 1 663 ; the second part 
of which work contains all those of the Epitome, 
except six figures. In 1678 they were taken into 
a German herbal, made up from Matthiolus by 
Bernard Yerzascha, printed at Basle ; and such was 
the excellency of the materials and workmanship of 
the blocks, that they were exhibited a sixth time in 
the Theatrum Botanicum of Krauterbuch of Zwin- 
ger, being an amended edition of Verzascha, printed 
also at Basle in 1696, with the addition of more 
than one hundred new blocks, copied from C. Bau- 
hine and Tabernas-montanus ; and finally into a 
new edition of the same work, so late as the year 

" Thus did the genius and labours of Gesner add 
dignity and ornament to the works of other men, 
and even of some whose enmity he had experienced 
during his lifetime. 

" Besides the above mentioned, Gesner left five 
volumes, consisting entirely of figures, which, after 


various vicissitudes, became the property of Trew 
of Norimberg. Sensible that, whether we view the 
extent of Gesner s knowledge and learning or his 
singular industry, such must be the veneration for 
his character, that any of his remains must claim 
the attention of the curious, the possessor gratified 
the public, by the pen of Dr. Schmiedel, with an 
ample specimen, published in 1753."* 

The work alluded to by Pulteney is an ele- 
gant folio in two volumes. The first, which in the 
copy now before us bears the date of 17^1, con- 
tains an elaborate and interesting life of Gesner by 
Schmiedel, to which we have been largely indebted 
in drawing up the present biography ; portrait and 
armorial bearings of Gesner; the history of his 
works on plants; commentaries on the fifth book 
of Valerius Cordus, with a notice, De morbo et 
obitu Yalerii Cordi ; the first book of Gesner's His- 
toria Stirpium ; and an extensive series of his wood- 
engravings, followed by others on copper by Se- 
ligmann of Nuremberg. This work is beautifully 
printed and embellished, and forms a kind of reper- 
tory of the botanical lore of the period, of the 
highest interest to the historian of the science. 

Much valuable botanical information is likewise 
to be found in Gesner's letters to his friends, many 
of which letters still exist. His views with regard 
to arrangement arc chiefly to be derived from this 

When we have mentioned our author's work, 
* Pulteney "s Sketches of Botany, vol. i. 


De omiii rerum fossilium genere, gemmis, lapidibus, 
metallis et hiijusmodi," (Zurich, 1565), a publica- 
tion which excited great attention at the time, and 
contains much curious information, as well as many 
illustrative engravings of a no less curious character, 
we shall have noticed the most important of Ges- 
ner's contributions to the general stock of know- 
ledge. An entire list of everything he wrote may 
be collected from Schmiedel's life, the additions of 
Tussier to the eloges of M. de Thou, and his own 
letter to VV'^illiam Turner. 

Every one who has written of Gesner has ex- 
pressed surprise that he should have been able to 
accomplish so much; and when we consider the 
difficulties he had to encounter in his youth, the 
laborious duties of his profession at a subsequent 
period, his frequent illnesses, and his early death, it 
is impossible to regard the results of his labours in 
any other light. His devotion to literature and 
natural science must have been intense ; his appli- 
cation unceasing; the facility and fertility of his 
genius such as are rarely met with. With much 
that is crude, obsolete, and useless, the necessary 
consequence of the period and circumstances under 
which he wrote, his publications must be regarded 
as of great merit, displaying a wonderful accumula- 
tion of knowledge derived from previous writers, 
with an important accession resulting from his own 
observation and original power of thought. Whether 
we consider them as a repertory of the existing 
knowledge of the times, or in reference to the light 


which they for the first time shed on the subjects 
of which they treat, they must ever secure for their 
author a venerable name among the Fathers of 
Natural History. 

In accordance with the praiseworthy practice of 
botanists, whose beautiful science it is desirable to 
surround with all agreeable influences and asso- 
ciations, the name of Gesner has been conferred 
on a species of tulip, — Tulipa Gesneriana. Not 
contented with this, Plumier, who has indulged in 
the practice more than any other botanist, has de- 
voted to his honour an American genus of the family 
Campayndacece, under the name of Gesner ia. 







A HISTORY of the Solipede animals^ of the species 
contamed in the Linnsean genus Equus, and more re- 
cently designated by the appellation of EquidsB;, would 
be liable to disappoint a scientific reader if with 
Zoological views alone, he expected to find in its 
pages much that was new or unobserved by anterior 
writers; for, when we consider, that in the genus, 
two species, the Horse and the Ass, have been the 
object of the most unremitting attention to man from 
the beginning of human civilization, that poets, philo- 
sophers, statesmen, historians, rural -economists, war- 
riors, hunters, speculators, physiologists and veteri- 
narians have all objects where the horse at least 
forms a conspicuous element, that from the inspired 


poetry of the book of Job, from the times of Homer, 
Aristotle, Xenopbon, Herodotus, Virgil, Varro, 
Columella, Gesnerj Aldrovandus, Johnston, Buffon, 
Linnaeus, Pennant, Pallas, Gmelin to Cuvier, Bell, 
and a host of others, ancient and modern, facts and 
observations have been accumulating, researches 
pursued and descriptions produced, where we trace 
patient investigation and often eloquent description. 
It must be confessed that the inquiry is all but ex- 
hausted, and that we must confine our views to a 
collection of the more prominent facts, for the attent 
tion of those who have neither time nor inclination 
to search the whole field, and while due place is given 
them, draw forth from their general or particular 
tenor some observations and comparisons that perhaps 
have not as yet been oflfered to the public or have 
only met with transient attention. Thus we may 
still hope to submit in the result of our labours some- 
thing worthy of notice to the learned, and not unin- 
viting to the casual reader, whose object is merely to 
obtain correct information combined with amusement. 
Where historical reflections embracing the earliest 
periods of antiquity are concerned, we hope to point 
out some philological considerations that may obtain 
the assent of linguists and assist inquiries on the pro- 
gress of the more ancient human colonies ; particu- 
larly the irruptions of the first Equestrian conquering 
hordes, and the indications where the Mongolian 
variety of man commences to press westward upon the 
Caucasian. In the discussion on the fossil remains of 
Equidae there also may be found arguments deserving 


attention^ as regarding their original distribution, and 
the sources whence mankind first drew the animals 
it subdued and subsequently mounted. Finally^ a 
review of the breeds noticed by the ancients will 
expose some facts in history which we think both 
new and curious. 

In the 12th edition of the Linnaean system, the 
horse, or genus Equus, is placed among the Belluee, 
constituting the sixth order of his Mammalia ; it is 
a group very distinctly characterized, and perfectly 
natural ; but, at the same time, remarkably isolated 
from all other genera, by the form of particular 
organs, which remain so constantly similar in the 
several species as to make in their turn but slight 
approximations to surrounding families, and leave 
but trivial distinctions to separate the genus into 
subordinate parts, or mark the difference of species. 
These circumstances appear to have induced systema- 
tic writers to admit them all into one. Gmelin, 
indeed, in the 13th edition of the system of Linnaeus, 
formed two, making his first out of Molinas Equus 
Bisulcus, or cloven-footed horse, now universally 
regarded as fabulous, or as a mere variety of Lama, 
and the second of the solidungular species, w^hich 
constitutes the true Equidae. Storr formed for it a 
distinct order under the name of Solipedes, and 
ranged it after the Ruminants ; while Iliiger, adopt- 
ing this order, followed Erxleben, who had located 
the horse between the elephant and camel, which 
was nearly the same as the arrangement of the 
Swedish naturalist: one corresponding to Belluse^ 


the other to Ruminantia : but Baron Cuvier, follow- 
ing at first the same distribution, finally made the 
genus horse one of the pachydermous order, and 
leaving it undividedj fixed the location last in that 
series, and immediately before Camelus, which con- 
stitutes the first of the next. 

Mr. Gray, in the Zoological Journal, Vol. I., 
defines the family of Equidse as distinguished from 
all other animals by the form of the hoof being un- 
divided, the stomach simple, and the female having 
two teats on the pubes : the teeth are, incisors |, 
canines in the males \-^j molars |-g=40. He 
further divides Equidae into two genera: namely, 1st, 
the horse; (Equus Caballus;) and 2d, the ass; 
(Asinus;) embracing Hemionus, the common ass, 
and the zebras ; the former type being destitute of 
stripes, having warts or callosities on both arms and 
legs, and the tail furnished with long hair up to the 
root, while the latter are generally white, more or 
less banded with blackish brown, and always have a 
distinct dorsal line ; the tail furnished with a brush 
only at the extremity, and warts existing on the 
arms alone. These distinctions have been considered 
by M. Lesson, insufficient to constitute two genera; 
and although Mr. Bell supports the wews of Mr. 
Gray, and justly contends that several of them are 
structural, we do not admit all the facts of either 
naturalists as unexceptionable to the extent required 
to constitute separate genera ; there being in reality 
not two, but three types or distinct groups, as will 
be shewn in the sequel ; and exceptions to uni- 


formity, which even then point to a further sub- 

The Equidse seem appropriately placed between 
Pachydermata and Ruminants, from their conforma- 
tion being intermediate,* and also, because they are 
found in a fossil state, accompanying the debris of 
both, and thereby proving that they co-existed in a 
former Zoology, or at least in a Zoological distribu- 
tion, more ancient than the present ; for, among the 
organic remains in limestone caverns, in osseous 
breccias, in tertiary or alluvial strata, (the pliocene of 
Lyell) in the fresh water deposits, and in the Eppes- 
heim sand, among several species of Elephant, of 
Rhinoceros, of Bovine and Cervine genera, their 
bones are found along with the, remains of a former 
hyaena, or of a species perhaps still extant. Their 
debris, often in great abundance, are spread over 
an immense surface of the Old World, from eastern 
Tahtary to the west of Ireland, and from the Polar 
regions to the south of the Himalaya mountains, 
and to an unknown distance in northern Africa.t 

* Such as the rudiments of two other toes attached to each 
of the canon bones, the structure of the stomach, the teeth, are 
pachydermous ; the consolidation of the phalanges, separately 
immoveable, homogenous ; but the conformation of other parts 
approximates the ruminantial character. 

-f- We have seen teeth of Equidss found in Polar ice, along 
with the bones of the Siberian Mammoth, others from the 
Himalaya range, down to its southern spurs, mixed with frag- 
ments of lost and unascertained genera ; many more from the 
Oreston and Torquay caverns, with bones and teeth of hysena 
and elieep ; some from Ireland, and one from Barbary, com- 


Although different authors have bestowed specific 
names upon the remains of these animals found in 
different places, such as Hippotherium of Caup, 
Equus fossilis, Equus Adamiticus, of Schlotheim, 
Equus (Caballus) primigenius, Equus (Mulus) primi- 
geniuSj and Equus (Asinus) primigenius, we find, 
from the confession of Baron Cuvier, that he never 
discovered a character sufficiently fixed in the exist- 
ing species, and therefore still less in the fossil, to 
enable him to pronounce on one from a single bone. 
All the remains of Equidse hitherto discovered, ap- 
pear so perfectly similar in their conformations to 
the domestic horse, (Equus Caballus,) that they can 
scarcely, or at most only in part, be ascribed to other 
species of the genus. From the commixture of their 
debris, there cannot be a doubt that they have existed 
together with several great pachydermata, and with 
hyaenas, whose teeth have left evident marks, pro- 
miscuously, upon a great number of them : but what 
in this question is deserving of attention is, that 
while all the other genera and species, found under 

pletely fossilized. Horse bones, accompanied by those of 
elephant, rhinoceros, tiger and hyaena, rest by thousands in the 
caves of Canstadt, inWurtemberg; they have been found with 
elephant bones at Sovran, in digging the canal of Ourcq ; 
at Fouvent-le-prieurd ; at Argentcuil ; in Val d'Arno witli 
Mastodon ; and on the borders of the Rhine with colossal 
Urus. Crawfurd docs not notice any among the organic re- 
mains observed by him in Ava ; but Captain Cantley found 
Equine bones in the sandstone, and among fallen cliffs of the 
Sewallick mountains, at the southern base of the Himalayas 
between the Sutlcje and the Ganges. 


the foregoing conditions have ceased to exist, or 
have removed to higher temperatures, the horse alone 
has remained to the present time in the same regions, 
without, it would appear, any protracted interrupt 
tion ; since, from the circumstances which manifest 
deposits to be of the earliest era in question, frag- 
ments of its skeleton continue to be traced upwards 
in successive formations, to the present superficial and 
vegetable mould. 

Moreover, the bones of Equidse, in all their 
localities, agree sufficiently, at least so far as our 
researches extend, to fix the stature of the animals 
at or near the standard of the wild horses of 
Asia, and the middle-sized unimproved breeds of 
the present day; while nearly all the others, and 
particularly those of Ruminants, found in the same 
deposits, often announce structures considerably 
larger than their present congeners. Now, as 
the debris of Mastodons, Elephants, Bovidse and 
Cervidas, have likewise been discovered in the 
western continent, but it would seem without those 
of the horse, or the hysena, it appears that neither 
were at any time indigenous, while in the old con- 
tinent, both are found ; one having only retreated 
to a southern latitude, and the other continuing to 
reside without, or with no sensible difference of 
characters, in its primeval location : as if, while 
several very remarkable species of animals have dis- 
appeared, and others are now only extant in climates 
of higher temperature, the horse alone had escaped 
the operation of some great agency in nature, which 



acted with decisive power to the destruction of all 
the other Mammals in question.* 

These considerations, and more particularly the 
presence of horse-hones upwards to the surface, 
seem to indicate the original residence of the pre- 
sent domestic horse to have extended over the same 
surface of the Old World as the anterior fossil ani- 
mal ; we say the domestic horse, without therefore 
excluding the Hemionus, which once resided as far 
west as Prussia, or denying that the Koomrah 
existed in northern Africa, which is of the true 
form of Eq. Cahallus, though the specifical identity 
may be doubted. We are also inclined to question 
the positive unity of species in the Tangums and 
Kiangs of the central high ridges of Asia, and even 
iliat of the wild horses originally indigenous in the 
British Islands: possibly the Sarans of the great 
Indian chain may be distinct, although the homoge- 
neous character of their structure cannot be doubted : 
they, and other varieties hereafter to be mentioned, 
appear to be different forms of one t}'pe, very closely 
allied, yet distinct. 

We do not as yet know the limits of what con- 
stitutes a genus, nor have we a satisfactory definition 
of species, since it is admitted that hybrids derived 
even from assumed distinct genera, are not without 
the power of procreating a fertile offspring, with 

* From this view burrowing Canidse and Rodentia are 
purposely excluded, because, from their habits, they may bo 
found in the same localities, without belonging to the same 


eitlier of the parent species, if not among them- 
selves ; thus implanting new forms and new charac- 
teristics in a progeny, which may again and again 
receive additional blood of the foreign stock, with 
the more facility, since the hybrid conformation is 
already prepared for further adulteration ; and, not- 
withstanding the known tendency to sterility, obli- 
terate specific distinctions, and form a homogeneous 

The circumstances of the existence of dissimilar 
forms of a common type, are parallel to those of the 
Argali, (Ovis Ammon,) equally found identical or 
different in Asia, Africa, and the islands of the 
Mediterranean, which existed anciently in Spain, 
and at this moment is spread over a great part of 
western North America. In no case are these ani- 
mals suspected to have been transported by human 
intervention, and yet they are located in some places 
where, without the aid of man, they cannot have 
migrated, unless we admit of changes on the surface 
of the earth since the present Zoology Mas in being, 
of such magnitude, as to include the formation of 
the Mediterranean — the separation of the British 
Islands from the continent of Europe — of the Indian 
Islands from that of Asia — and the formation of a 
channel to cut America from connexion with the 
Old World. How this genus Ovis could have re- 
sisted the effects of extreme alterations of climate 
such as then must have occurred under the two con- 
ditions of existence before and after the great catas- 
trophe, forms a further case of difficulty ; while to 


make the whole still more inexplicable, it may be 
added, that no fossil remains of any of the genus 
exist/ excepting, perhaps, of one to all appearance 
belonging to the domestic sheep found under ques- 
tionable conditions in the Devonshire deposits.'^ 

If the Argali, therefore, are all of the same 
species, they must have been separated during the 
great diluvian catastrophe, at the time the species of 
rhinoceros, of buffalo, tiger, and others, found in the 
Indian Islands, were likewise separated from the 
continent, and placed in locations where species un- 
known to Asia, such as the Tapir and Marsupiata, 
still exist, who have congeners only in South Ame- 
rica. The more we pursue these reflections, the 
greater is the dilemma. Without attempting to ex- 
plain in what manner, we must ultimately revert to 
the opinion of a Zoological distribution being effected 

* The existence of debris of horses in South America, in 
company with the Megatherium in aqueous deposits, is not 
yet sufficiently proved to be coeval ; and with regard to the 
teeth of a horse, at least equal in size to our great domestic 
breeds described by Mr. J. C. Bellamy, and found in the 
ossiferous caves of South Devon, the difference of size is not 
so great as to change the nature of the general conclusions ; 
and several of these sites, where the remains of sheep, of a 
canine, possibly a wolf, flint knives, potsherds, and even 
human bones have been detected, although with or near those 
of rhinoceros and hyena, lead to doubts respecting the real 
cause and time of their juxtaposition. If the discovery of 
true Equine debris in South America be now admitted in de- 
ference to the late report of the accurate Owen, it remains to 
be ascertained wliether they do not belong to the Austral 
group, that is, to the zebra form. 


at so remote a period, that our conclusions respect- 
ing identity of species, are only inferential and for 
the convenience of classification : that, notwith- 
standing the superabundant inclination in man to 
assume dominion over matter,, there appears to he 
distinct evidence to prove, by their fitness, the in- 
tention of the Creator regarding the destination of 
several animals was meant for human use. For if 
we do not admit these views, there remains only 
the supposition of a creation of pairs, or of only one 
family. of each species, which, gradually increasing, 
extended and migrated to a multitude of localities 
in many cases so inaccessible, as to demand more 
violent causes, more unphilosophical necessities thaia 
the former ; disregarding withal a totally unba- 
lanced state in the system of co-ordained organic 

This conclusion we have already endeavoured to 
draw in the history of the Canidse : it will be farther 
illustrated in that of the domestic horse ; is more or 
less perceptible in all the thoroughly domesticated 
animals, and when we examine their capacity to bear 
in man's company, the variations of climate and 
changes of food to which he has subjected them, we 
may take the law of sterility in the commixture of 
different species to have its limits where the forms 
cease to be sufficiently homogeneous ; a law unques- 
tionably ordained for the wisest purposes, but marked 
with exceptional modifications for purposes not less 
beneficent : — There are so many proofs of the beauti- 
ful flexibility of their action upon organized beings. 


that to reject the above conclusion, evidently reduces 
us to the necessity of regarding the wolf and the dog, 
the camel and the dromedary, the goat and the sheep 
as constituting but single species ; for all these pro- 
duce fertile offspring. 

It seems therefore more consonant with the distri- 
bution of several genera of animals on the earth's 
surface to believe, that osculating forms existed ab 
initio distinct, circumstanced to accomplish certain 
ends, such as the service of man, and therefore framed 
so as to render them fusible into one species. The 
Argalis or wild sheep before-mentioned, bear all the 
evidence of this fusibility, and that the domesticated 
varieties spread over the Old World, have the blood 
of more than one original species in their organization, 
may fairly be inferred from several of Persia and 
High Asia bearing a near resemblance to the wild in 
their vicinity. We may even assume, that civilized 
man, if it had been his lot to deal with the zebras of 
South Africa instead of the horses of Asia, in due time 
would have succeeded in amalgamating the three or 
four species now existing into one domestic animal 
little inferior to our present horse : that the powers 
of draught would have been found in the Quagga, 
the qualities of charger in the Zebra and the properties 
of mountain pony in the Dauw. 

With these impressions, we may for the present 
suspend our opinion ; whether several wild races of 
horses were, or were not originally of the same species, 
and with the greater cause, since there are Equida 
undeniably different who produce nevertheless mules 


not totally sterile. There are besides phenomena as 
yet not satisfactorily explained, in the few and partial 
experiments that have been made relating to this 
very question of intermixture^ and the traces it leaves 
on succeeding generations: phenomena which the 
remarks of Mr. Bell and Mr. Macdonald have not 
set at rest, and where superfetation is out of the 
question. We allude to the characters of the sire 
of the mothers first oifspring remaining impressed 
upon the succeeding in form, colours and markings, 
although the first was of a different species and the 
second of the same as the female ; thereby showing 
a tendency to propagate strange forms in preference 
to the homogeneous. The most striking example of 
these facts was made known by the late Earl of 
Morton and recorded in the Philosophical transactions 
for the year 1821, where it is stated that he had 
bred an hybrid foal, between a chestnut mare of | 
Arabian blood and a Quagga, which in form and 
colour bore decided evidence of a mixed origin ; this 
was her first foal ; but where interest was most ex- 
cited occurred five years after, when the same mare, 
then the property of Sir Gore Ousely, bred by a black 
Arabian horse a filly and the next year a colt, by the 
same parent, which, although both were then unques- 
tionably J§ths of pure Arabian blood, of homogene- 
ous species, still retained strong marks of the anterior 
spurious commixture, in the character of the mane, 
the colour of the hair, and in the striped markings 
on the neck, shoulders and joints ! These facts were 
fully* corroborated by the late Dr. Wollaston and in 


part collie under our own observation. Portraits of 
the aniinals, painted by tbe accurate Agasse are pre- 
served in the Museum of Surgeons College^ London. 
, We represent the 1st 2nd and even 3rd produce of 
this mare and black Arabian, where these marks 
are all conspicuous. In the last foal the mane retains 
its Quagga character as much as in the first, and in 
all the streaks on neck and back are more decided 
than even in the mule ; which we shall figure when 
the Nat. history of Mules is considered. 

It has been remarked on this tendency of the dur- 
ation of characters belonging to the first male parent, 
however different he may have been in form or colour, 
that it recurs in the dog and hog, but Mr. Bell does 
not attempt furthur to account for it, although the 
question is of still stronger import, since, in the case 
of the mare, the first male was of a different species, 
and not of the same ; as according to his authority, 
dogs and hogs are, when subject to these effects. 
.We, on the contrary, having already noticed this 
.question in the history of the dogs, and adduced the 
example of hogs, to prove a plurality of homogeneous 
forms in both, regard the facts above recorded as iu" 
dicating a plural origin exceeding the limits of even 
.our own inferences. 

Mr. Macdonald's remarks, which we know only 
from an abstract in the Athenaeum No. 612, 1839, 
refer the phenomena described in Lord Morton's 
communication to a possible cross in the progenitors 
of the mare with an Eelback dun, which is always 
marked with a streak on the back, and not unfre- 


quently with cross bars on the joints : but thi con- 
jecture would not account for the stripes on th^ neck 
and shouklers, and though far fetched, explains only 
the dorsal streak and bars on the limbs, which the 
Eelback dun seems to have derived from an ancient 
cross with Hcmionus, for this race of horses is nearest 
in colour and markings to the Isabella breed of 
antiquity, so renowned for mounting the Median 
cavalry, and not always destitute of a cross on the 

Whether one or more species of wild horses con- 
stituted the primaeval forms of the distinct races of 
the northern half of Asia, and merged gradually into 
the Equus caballus of systematic writers, is a question 
not likely to be fully determined, but beside them 
there are at least two other Equidse, one ranging 
over the Steppes of Tahtary, and from thence south- 
ward to the plains of Persia, is known by the names of 
Hemionus and Dziggetai, and the other a more south- 
ern animal, though ascending in summer as far north 
as Lake Aral, is questionably regarded as the original 
wild ass, and bears the names of Hymar, Ghoor-Khar 
and Kulan ; while a third, the Kiang of Ladauk, is 
not as yet sufficiently described, and a fourth more 
nearly allied to Hemionus, probably the Yo-to-tze of 
China, will be noticed by us under the appellation of 
Asinus Hippagrus. All these species or varieties have 
been confounded by travellers and naturalists until 
their names and distinctive marks cannot becompletely 
rectified. There exists besides in the northern half 
of Africa an Equine animal designated by the natives 


as the Koomrah/ which the Mograbins report to be 
the offspring of a bull and mare, the Hippotaurus of 
older naturalists. It is nearly allied to the true horse, 
but small, a tenant of the mountains and distinct from 
the wild ass which Pliny took to be the Onager 
noticed by Leo Africanus, Marmol and lately by M. 

Regarding Equus Caballus Equus Variusand Equus 
Lalisio as belonging to the same tj^pe, the last 
mentioned shewing an approximation to A sinus, we 
take Hemionus and Onager or Hymar as belonging 
to Asinus, although we may doubt the Kiang and 
Kulan being identical with either, and A. Hippagrus 
must be considered as absolutely intermediate. Be- 
sides these two general types, there is a third entirely 
confined to the South side of the Equator and belong- 
ing to Africa, but distinctly separated by the uni- 
formity of the striped liveries which invariably adorns 
the three or perhaps four species it contains. 

The domestic ass supposed to be derived from the 
wild Hymar of the desert and the horse of Asia, 
enter at a remote period into the circle of human 
economic establishments. The first mentioned, as 
might be expected, resided in the same regions where 
the dawn of civilization commenced, and gifted with 
inferior powers of resistance, is presumed to have 
been subjugated several ages before the second, be- 

* Koomrah, Cumri seems to be a Mauritanian mutation of 
Hymar, mixed up with the Negro Kumrie, (white) the animal 
being found in the snowy mountain range of Nigritia, and hence 
also the idea that it is white. 


cause we find it repeatedly indicated in the Penta- 
teuch before the horse is noticed, such as, in the 
sacrifice of Abraham ; in his visit to Egypt, where 
he received presents of Abimelech ; and in the spoils 
of Shechem, where asses are numbered with other 
cattle, but the horse is not mentioned. Yet that 
noble animal, by nature provided with greater phy- 
sical capabilities, with more intelligence, and more 
instinctive tendencies for adapting his existence to 
the circumstances of domestication in every region, 
is in his servitude grown larger, more adorned, 
more acute, and more educational than in a state of 
nature ; while the ass, in similar circumstances, has 
degenerated from his pristine character, becoming, 
even in the greater part of Persia, smaller in stature, 
less fleet, less intelligent, and by his own impulses 
less the associate of man. When the horse, from 
thorough domesticity, is again cast upon his own 
resources, he resumes his original independence, 
provides for his own safety and that of the herd 
under his care, without altogether losing his acquired 
advantages ; the ass, on the contrary, although never 
a spontaneous associate in his domestication, is no 
where kno^vn to have again become wild, or to have 
sought his freedom with a spirit of persevering 
vigilance ; and in cases where by accident he has 
found himself in freedom, he has made no energetic 
efforts to retain it, nor recovered qualities that 
restore him to the filiation of the Hymar or the 
Kulan. "When emancipated, he becomes, without 
effort, the prey of the lion, the tiger, the hyaena, or 


the wolf, and in America he has been known to 
succumb under tlie beak of a condor. It is evident 
that the difference in the relative conditions of the 
two species, is, with regard to the ass, not entirely 
referrible to human neglect and want of kindness, but 
in part, at least, must be ascribed to inferior sensibility 
and weaker intellectual power; both being alike 
evinced by the hardness of his hide, by his satisfac- 
tion with coarser food, and his passive stubbornness.* 
We know, besides, so little of the social condi- 
tion of the primitive seat of civilization, of the 
original centi-e, whence knowledge radiated to China, 
India, and Egypt, perhaps in Bactria, in the higher 
valleys of the Oxus or in Cachmere, that it may 
be surmised the first domestication of the horse Avas 
achieved in Central Asia, or commenced nearly 
simultaneously in several regions where the wild 
animals of the horse form existed, and in point of 
date, perhaps, even earlier than that of the ass, 
whose natural habitat is more superficially extended 

* What Don UUoa says respecting wild asses in Peru, and 
Molina of the same animals in Chili, are mere local accounts 
of a few strayed animals that may have bred in independence 
on the borders of the plantations, but they do not resume cha- 
racteristics of vigilance, of liberty, and of voice, such as are so 
beautifully depicted in the glowing images of the Hebrew pro- 
phets and Arabian poets ; they are not noticed by later travel- 
lers, and in no case appear in droves on the Pampas or troops 
in the mountains, in a fixed feral state, like the horse. There 
were feral asses, according to the Buccaneers, in St. Domingo 
and other places ; yet though they ought to be the most vigi- 
lant, the least sought, and the most inaccessible, they have 
disappeared, while the feral horse still remains. 


to the south of the great mountain range of Middle 

In the natural history of the horse, lately pub- 
lished, there is an opinion expressed, contrary to 
the conclusion of others, that the species is of Afri- 
can origin. With a view, therefore, of instituting 
some inquiry into the primitive habitat and period 
of domestication of the horse, by a philological 
research concerning the names bestowed upon ani- 
mals of that family in the most ancient known 
languages, we find in the Hebrew, the oldest criti- 
cally studied tongue of the Semitic branch, a variety 
of terms applied to Equidaa, some of which in our 
biblical version seem to be occasionally translated 
with questionable accuracy, or are more generical 
than specific, and there are others whose radical 
Hebrew origin may be doubted. Aware how vague 
and inconclusive studies of this kind are deemed to 
be by many persons of erudition, and how open 
they are to abuse in themselves, still, to one whose 
attention has been long and repeatedly called to 
linguisitics, and who in his inquiries into the origin 
of the older nations of history and of the West has 
met with numerous relations between the remotest 
times and the present, between the most ancient 
languages and those of the older dialects spoken in 
Europe, the affinities are often so obtrusive, that the 
result may be worth noticing in an abstract form 
and confined to the object we have immediately 
before us. We find, for example, the name of the 
ass, *inj/, orucl^ if it be onomatopoeically an imita- 


tion of braying, that ^"13, yra^ another assumed 
name for the same animal, is not likely again de- 
rived from an imitation of the asinine voice, and be 
equally from an Hebrew root, in a language not 
remarkable for extent or richness in its vocabulary. 
T'^T^^, atun^ is a third designation repeatedly trans- 
lated by female ass, and also asserted to mean a 
particular species or race of saddle-asses, and "^IDn, 
chamor^ in Arabic chamara^ hamar^ and hymar^ in 
^thiopic cehmiri^ one decidedly Semitic, refers to 
the wild ass, and appears again to allude to the 
voice of the animal. As for Vyi-, reches^ translated 
mules, and not found until about the time of the 
first kings of Israel, we think the true meaning to 
be a carrier, equally applicable to a mule and to the 
swift dromedary, hedgeen^ as seems proved by J^"1, 
recheh, a chariot ; and again traceable in the West- 
em Arabic shruhat-er-reech, the celebrated fleet 
horses of the desert, or swallowers of the wind. 
The names of animals, in original and in most an- 
cient languages, unquestionably are often to be 
traced to imitations of their voice, or to some pre- 
dominant obvious quality in their form, colours, or 
uses, and we find this fact particularly applicable 
to Equidae. Now, taking pra^ para^ pered, perdah^ 
to mean an ass, a mule, or more properly a riding 
beast, and comparing them with tiHiD, paras^ horses, 
and □''iy")3, Parasim, Persians, later Parthians, 
that is, horsemen, we see that the root has a more 
eastern origin, and belongs to a people coming from 
the regions of Hindukoh, whose name was derived 


from the quality of riding or charioteering; in a 
secondary sense, an exalted people, and was con- 
nected with a dialect, if not Sanscrit, at least Zend 
or Pelhevi, not remote from Maesogothic and Teu- 
tonic, where jyherd^ perd^ paert are dialectical varia- 
tions of the same origin, and even the Latin ferro * 
is not an alien. We may therefore suspect that 
pra^ para^ &c., in common with many other Indo- 
Sacian, Germanic, or Scythic t words abounding in 
the Arabic and other Semitic languages, were im- 
ported by the first equestrian colonies that invaded 
Syria and Egypt. We find it in a remoter sense in 
the name of phre^ a title of the sun, the charioteer 
and the image of beauty, as it is again in the West, 
where the Scandinavian freya and fray denote 
beauty and pre-eminence : these inferences are fur- 
ther supported by the Babylonian name ninifs, 
ninnus, hinnus, through the Greek vmov, from an 

* Probably through the imperative fer, which is radically 
the same as Phra, Phar^ the " Car-born.'''' Pharoah and, Per- 
sian, Varanes seem both to be epithets derived from farm^ 
varen. Even the Sanscrit mystical boar VahraJian, Teutonic 
Vehr, and Latin Verus preserves the character, if not of being 
borne, but of bearing up ; for he upholds the world on his tusks. 

+ We use the term Scythic for want of one more explicit, 
and understand by it the Caucasian nations of the northern 
half of ancient Asia, who, being provided with horses, came 
across the Jaxartes, down the Oxus and the Indus, across the 
Tigris, the Euphrates, to the Bosphorus and the Nile, in the 
character of conquerors more than colonists. Servius, in his 
remarks on the lang-uage of Virgil, who in common with most 
ancient writers gives the creation of the horse to Neptune, 
states that some name this horse ScytUus. 


Asiatic root, always denoting a young Equine ani- 
mal, and the old Persian name jtf^l^ * ^ beam of 
the sun, a horse, a foal consecrated to the sun, + and 
the later asp^ ^r^tn^-) both e^Dithets and names of a 
whole series of kings and princes. % Surely these 
inferences are more admissible than to take phar or 
jphra from the forced root fugit. With regard to 
the oldest Sanscrit names of the horse, it is true we 
find none directly sounding like pra ox perd; they 
are asica and turanga^ with several other epithets: 

* An object to cross ; a bridge. 

=t The Centaurs, children of Centaurlis, son of Apollo, among 
whom Pholus appears to be again />/'«/, or ful, fidleyi^ foal. 

X The original idea seems always to refer to conveyance, — 
being carried, riding, drawn, sailing, ever associated with ele- 
vation, grandem*, velocity : hence, in Hebrew, equally appli- 
cable to a horse and an ass. Northern words, in the Arabic 
alone, amount to several hundred, derived most likely from an 
unkno^vn parent stock through Zend or Pelhevi, and closely 
allied to Gothic and Sanscrit. The known Indo-Sacse and 
Germanii had first proceeded south before they moved west- 
ward at a later period, and cannot have had such strong influ- 
ence upon the Semitic tongues : we must look for an earlier 
and more permanent cause to account for the fact ; perhaps to 
the giant invasion of Canaan, or of the shepherds in Egypt. 
That there were inroads of cavalry nations from the north-east 
at a later period, is sufficiently implied by the predictions in 
Deuteronomy, where the expressions " from afar off, even from 
the ends of the earth, as swift as an eagle flieth," are perfectly 
to the purpose ; and at an earlier j)criod these terrible invaders 
would no doubt have been denominated giants. With regard to 
the word Asp, it affords another indication of the original habitat 
of the horse in the names of most ancient nations of Central 
Asia noticed by Greek authors, such as the Aspii, Ari/naspii, 
horsemen and mountain-horsemen, probably Mongoles of Tibet, 


the first of these, no doubt, parent of the Persian 
asp^ and the latter of Taran, the land of the swift, 
an ancient appellation of Bokhara or the valley of 
the Jaxartes, that river which in Hindu mythology 
is always represented issuing out of a horse's mouth, 
and therefore another indication of the quarter 
whence horses became known to Southern Asia. 
Now, referring to atun^ we may believe it to be 
another mutation like asp from aswa^ or along wnth 
aswa from a root still older, and be likewise in con- 
nexion with I'Ttvog and equus, which are claimed to 
be Pelasgian modifications, and that the Finnic epo 
and tipping, an ancient Anglo-Saxon and Frisic 
term, is similarly related to t'Trrog. All these names 
are expressive of qualities, and their roots may be 
fairly traced. A similar slight mutation places the 
Hebrew lyl, ramack, and the Celto-Scythic marcK 
a horse, a mare, in the same affinity; and if we 
take one more name, 7v, siis or simh^ in Turkish 
still siikli^ the most ancient term for that animal 
known in the south-west of Asia, and the origin of 
Susiana and Susa^ whither the earliest Caucasian 
invaders appear to have come to settle with their 
horses in the pastures along the river Choaspes, we 
have also an indication of colour, for sush^ a muta- 
tion of siu% the inversion of rkiis^ applies to bay, the 
general livery of horses ; a name which in the West 
slightly varied to rhos^ or hros^ and horse, belongs to 
both the animal and the colour ; while the w^ord bay, 
in Latin hadins, and in old Teutonic layert, may be 
imported from Arabia, where lei/al denotes the same 


animal, or is again a coincidence between the Ara- 
bic, the old Pelasgian, and the Teutonic. 

Thus we may infer that the original horse of 
South-western Asia came already domesticated from 
the north-east, and therefore we find no mention of 
it made till the patriarch Joseph, holding the highest 
ministerial power in Egypt, sends a chariot drawn 
by horses to bring his aged father to the banks of 
the Nile : for if he resided at Zoan on the borders 
of Goshen, or at On (the Greek Heliopolis), where 
the sun was honoured under the title of phre and 
phar, he was in the region where the grazier Il^k- 
sos, invaders and charioteers from High Asia, had 
until lately resided. * 

If, without the aid of horses, the progress of 
colonization could at first be afi*ected only by a 
gradual and slow advance, and that of military 
conquest could not be extended beyond a mere 
vicinity, we see how readily Sesostris availed him- 
self of the spoils obtained from the expelled shep- 
herds ; that with the aid of horses, which they first 
brought to Egypt, he retaliated and passed eastward 
to the very sources whence they had issued; and 

* The Hyhsos or Haikos, that is, Haik wearers, is a name of 
ancient Upper Armenia, and denotes a garment, from which 
we retain tlie old word Iluck, and the ancient Belgians Fuik. 
Snorro gives to Sej^thia the name of Sarkland, tlie land of 
Tunic, i. e. Jmek wearers, which coincides with the received 
opinion of the region whence tliese Seythic invaders had issued, 
and the direction tliey took in their retreat, althougli it is pro- 
bable that they went no farther north than the Hauran, beyond 


1. Medo-Persiwv Morse. 

Jijicient -tnoned Ihav Stock. 

Irom Bit9-relief.9 of Che-eJ-minar. 

AncientBay Stx)ck,. 


although he may have missed their line of retreat 
across the Jordan, by taking the road along the 
Syrian coast, it appears, if faith can be placed in 
relations more legendary than historical, that he 
penetrated into Bactria ; and from his era horses 
are evidently used in Egypt. But although these 
animals are seen in numerous battle-pictures repre- 
senting his wars and conquests, and are drawn with 
a skill which marks the perception of high bred 
races, we must not take them to be all coeval, but 
as tokens of refinement in art during successive 
ages. The abundance of war-horses they pourtray 
is an exaggeration, for, as already shown, they are 
unnoticed until the era of Joseph, and therefore of 
recent introduction, when the shepherd kings were 
already expelled; nor numerous at the time of 
Exodus, since the v»^hoIe that could be called out, 
indeed on a short notice, but still from that part 
of Egypt where provender was most abundant, 
amounted, in the pursuit of Israel, only to six hun- 
dred chariots of war, " all the chariots of Egypt :" 
which implies either an enormous destruction in the 
murrain of cattle, or a very scanty establishment of 
horses in the district of Memphis, two being the 
amount for each chariot in Egypt. This shows 
how little reliance can be placed in the profane 
historians, who allowed twenty-seven thousand cha- 
riots to Sesostris, and one hundred thousand chariots, 
witli a million of horsemen, to Semiramis. * 

* These hieroglyphic pictures show by the cross, — the Swas- 
teka cross of Budhu, figured on the robes of several foreig-n 


From motives that may be assigned to tte inten- 
tions of Moses, or from causes operating at this 
moment in part of Arabia Petrea, horses -were not 
permitted to be bred by the people of Israel, who 
being intended to live isolated from other nations, 
might not become conquerors, — and destined to oc- 
cupy a mountainous range enclosed between deserts 
and the sea, could not come down into the plains 
without danger, and only became predominant under 
the kings who first disregarded the injunction. * 
The case was similar on their nearest border in 
Arabia; for even in the time of Saul, the conse- 
quence of a victory over Arab tribes furnished the 
Hebrews with plunder in camels, asses, and sheep, 
but not in horses. In the Psalms, horses are gene- 
rally noticed as used by their Canaanitish enemies : 
David himself, in a battle where a number of priso- 
ners were taken, ordered most of their horses to be 
slain. But although these facts apply to Judea 

nations, — that they ai'e not themselves of the era of Sesostris, 
Remses IT. or III. ; they also indicate the region whence Egypt 
derived horses, since, in the tribute paid by a conquered 
people, horses, and even chariots, are represented : noAV, this 
people is painted with long dresses, light complexions, broAvn 
hah, and blue eyes, and named Rot-n-no. Among other objects 
of interest there are bears, and elephants with short ears and 
liigh foreheads, peculiar to the Asiatic species, all offering 
proofs of the Rot-n-no being residents in High Asia and not 
Africa, though it involves the difficulty of elephants being then 
found to the west of the Indus and of Ilindukoli, but it is 
probable that they were already imported from India at a re- 
mote period. See Wilkinson's " Ancient Egyptians," vol. i. 
* Deutcronomv, xvii. 16. 



and part of Arabia, all round these regions horses 
had multiplied at an early period, as we shall see 
in the sequel. 

In the most ancient legislation of India, dating 
back to a period nearly coeval with Moses, horses 
are mentioned, and in particular, where the astca- 
meda jug^ or sacrifice of these animals is enjoined, 
which, during the predominance of the worship of 
Kali, was an awful solemnity, only next to the im- 
molation of a human victim. The importance thus 
bestowed upon a horse shows, however, the scarcity 
of the species at that period; but in later ages, 
horses for sacrifice or ascribed to mystical purposes 
occur, already bearing denomination of breeds and 
of native countries : thus the hy^ explained to refer 
to Arabia, on account of their swiftness are designed 
to carry angels ; the tahzees of Persia belong to 
Kundhorps, or good genii ; the wasba, a deformed 
kind of tahzees^ are ridden by Gins and demons; 
and the ashoor^ of Toorkee race, perform the jour- 
neys of mankind. Although this legend is evi- 
dently of a comparative late date, it is remarkable 
that no Indian indigenous horse is mentioned, and 
as for the iTy, interpreted Arabian, the explanation 
is probably still more recent. '"' 

* See also the Mahaharata^ where, under the mystical de- 
nominations of gods and superhuman agents, Kauravas and 
Pandavas^ it appears that the first great military religious in- 
vasion of India is recorded ; and in the enumeration of the 
Akshaushinis, or corps of armies, both chariots and cavalry are 


Nor should tlie arrival of the Centaurs be over- 
looked in these researches, for though poetical 
records are not history, the fact of their presence, 
their superior attainments, and the character of their 
horses, proves that a basis of truth was wrought up 
into fictions, which, though they conferred upon that 
horde impossible characters, nevertheless, in their 
circumstances, permit reason to detect the first ap- 
pearance of a riding nation, mounted upon a breed 
of horses which we shall trace out in the sequel. 
This irruption belongs to the earliest movement 
of the cavalry hordes from Central Asia, coming 
upon Thrace and Thessaly by the north of the 
Black Sea and across the lower Danube; while 
another, not long after, evidently composed of a 
more southern tribe, broke into Asia Minor, and 
was known in tradition by the appellation of Ama- 
zons. The first, most likely, were northern Scytha? 
of High Asia, real horsemen ; the second, high land 
Sacas, Stri-rajas, perhaps Pandu followers of Crishna 
and Ballirama, led by martial queens, wearing long 
clothes, and detached westward from a cause un- 
known, '^ but both more civilized than the Pe- 
lasgians of either side of the ^Egean : the first 
exclusively riders, the second both riders and cha- 

* The Stri-rajaJis, or women princes of Marawa, opposite 
Ceylon, have in Indian records all the characteristics of Ama- 
zons, and are represented with similar attributes in sculpture. 
At present the robber tribe of Kalures, occupying the same 
territory, have women in cliief authority, and polygandry is 
the law. 


rioteers, with institutions akin to those of Indian 
nations. * 

Both events synchronise with the heroic age of 
Greece, and are sufficiently near the periods of the 
expulsion of the shepherds, the invasion of Asia by 
Sesostris or Remses II. and III., and the Indian 
epic legends, to establish the epoch of great move- 
ments through all the regions in question, and fix 
the period when horse, chariot, and rider first make 
their appearance : the northern nations exclusively 
as riders ; at Nineveh, t in Asia Minor, and in 

* If the half-civilized Centaurs divided at the foot of the 
Carpathians and pushed onwards to the Baltic, traces of which 
might be pointed out in their peculiar horses, we would have 
a clue to the arrival of the first Asa race in Northern Europe, 
and account for their riding gods, their Indian divinities, their 
horse sacrifices, and their language approximating to the San- 
scrit, and the mythical legends of Sagara and Asa-manga. 

f Mr. Rich mentions a bas-relief of a man on horseback, 
carved in stone, being found at Nineveh, but destroyed for 
building purposes before his visit to that city ; and he repre- 
sents a cylinder having the figure of a riding sportsman catch- 
ing a deer with a casting-net, found at the same place. 

Sesonchosis first mounted a horse according to Apoll. in 
natalis comes. 

Bellerophon on the winged Pegasus in Pliny, the Amazons 
in Lysias Rhetor , and, lastly, Mareo, a person half-man half- 
horse, first taught riding to the Italian people ; his name is the 
same as Maron^ a horse^ in the Thracian tongue, and shows, as 
Centaur or Lapitha, that he was of the race of mounted in- 
vaders from Asia. There is even an older evidence that riding 
was not unknown in the days of Jacob, in Genesis xlix. 17, — 
" An adder in the path, that biteth the horse's heels, so that 
his rider falleth backward." 


India, as charioteers and riders; and in Greece, 
Palestine, and Egypt, as cliarioteers only. 

Although no people could be conversant with 
horses, or accustomed to mount asses, without learn- 
ing the practicability of sitting on horseback, these 
differences are distinguishable in written authorities, 
and visible on fictile vases, bas-reliefs, and Egyptian 
painted outlines : they are a general result of the 
apposite manners of nations, according to the cli- 
mates they inhabit; intensely cold, or relaxingly 
warm. As they reside among marshy rugged steppes, 
or dry hard plains, they adopt short dresses of 
peltry or long encumbering clothes; they ride or 
they drive, but necessity, fashion, and habit change 
their inclinations ; they fight from chariots, because 
more convenient to carry heavy darts and shield, 
till they experience the superiority of mounted 
opponents, and then modify their own customs. 

Now, if we compare these considerations with the 
claims in favour of Africa set up by late writers, 
who consider the domestic horse was first brought 
from thence to be subdued in Egypt, we find no 
true indigenous wild horse in that quarter of the 
globe, unless the puny koomrah deserves that name ; 
and we appeal to the current of human civilization, 
which most certainly did not set in from Central 
Africa towards the north-cast. Although Numi- 
dian horsemen occur, they are not charioteers, nor 
noticed until Carthage and Greek Cyrenaica flou- 
rished, or had already lost their independence, and 
then they were naked riders, little acquainted with 


the bridle or the saddle, and with less adaptation of 
the arts of Asia than the modern Patagonians have 
copied from those of Europe. Egypt was not a 
country for wild horses; we have already seen 
when the domestic first appear there : and surely it 
was not from Nubia that the elements of progres- 
sive civilization were taken, but from Asia, whence 
the people came, and to which alone they acknow- 
ledged affinity. 

Even in that quarter of the globe there was a 
difference respecting horses : in the northern half, 
the whole male and occasionally the female popula- 
tion have used the saddle ever since human records 
began ; in the southern, within the commencement 
of profane history only, the better classes alone are 
mounted, and riding tribes, such as the Kyale 
Arabs, foniierly sate on swift camels (hedjeens)^ 
and until now, on many occasions, continue to pre- 
fer thera to horses. 

With regard to primitive Arabia, it should be re- 
marked that its geographical limits are very indefi- 
nite ; Hira and Gassan, or a great part of Western 
Persia, and all Eastern Syria and Palestine, being 
occasionally claimed as part of the national domain 
in ancient times, and since the Hejira, they have 
been extended eastv/ard far beyond the Euphrates, 
and west to Morocco. Ancient Egypt similarly 
comprised, at times, part of Arabia, of Syria, and 
all Palestine, which, with the Ethnic nations, was 
always viewed as a province more or less under 
Persia or Egypt. When, therefore, a question is 


raised concerning horses in either, during antiquity, 
we are liable to be misled for want of more accurate 
geographical knowledge ; but this difficulty appears 
not to apply in refuting the argument of Count de 
Buffon, where he asserts the primitive horse to be 
still found wild in Arabia; for all the peninsula, 
and the provinces that can by any extension be 
claimed as within the limits, having been tenanted 
from the earliest periods by wandering tribes, graz- 
ing camels, goats, and sheep on every space that 
produced verdure, there are nowhere districts suffi- 
ciently inaccessible, or cover properly qualified to 
shelter horses in a wild state, although wild cat- 
tle are mentioned, which in reality are not animals 
of the bovine family, but oryges belonging to the 
Antilopidce. * It is more probable, as before ob- 
served, that there were no horses in this open and 
barren region, until Scythic conquerors of the giant 
race, Imilicon, Cuthites, or Hyksos, brought them 
down from High Asia ; and that these hordes and 
their animals were incorporated like the Idumeans, 
or left their horses, and many words of their lan- 
guage, when they perished or were expelled, t. If 

* The Uucoryx^ and other antelopes, are usually classed with 
oxen in Oriental relations. 

"t Events of. this kind had occurred, and are again foretold 
by the prophet Ezekiel, vi. 26, — " A king of kings from the 
north^ with horses and with chariots, and with horsemen," &c. 
A king of kings, literally Chalujan. The Tahtars have a pro- 
verb, that for seven years after a horde has passed, no com will 
grow. In the eleventh century, wlien the terrible Comans 
overthrew Persian, Turk, and Christian, and took possession of 


the capture of wild horses be recorded and be fact, 
we may rest assured that the term means either feral 
animals, or, by misnomer, the wild ass of the desert. 

In Europe, where there is reason to believe wild 
horses existed, and in particular among the Celtas, 
acquaintance with a domesticated breed seems to 
date, on the continent, from the period when the 
Celto-Scythic and Centomannic Gauls ascended the 
Danube and crossed the Rhine, and in Britain when 
commerce with Phoenician merchants first intro- 
duced some practices of Asiatic origin ; for the for- 
mer were riders, having the well known system of 
trinal arrangement, called trimarckesia *, in their 
cavalry, and the latter were charioteers to the time 
when the Romans first crossed the Channel ; the first, 
therefore, had habits analogous to the manners of 
the north, the second to those of the south of Asia. 

It is to the beginning of the period when con- 
quering horsemen had spread to the south and west 
of the old world, that is, between the seventeenth 
and fourteenth centuries before the Christian era, 
that the veneration attached to the horse may have 
commenced ; though, no doubt, a date still earlier 
must be fixed when the zodiacal belt was deter- 
mined ; t for, in the houses of the sun, no horse is 

Jerusalem, their shaggy maned dun ponies were described and 
figured in Europe like lions, and the riders like Chinese. See 
MS. Marino Zanuti, Burgundy Library, Brussels, 1326. 

* Noticed in Pausanias, seemingly from the Celtic tri-march- 
kesec, that is, tliree horses combined, — a knight and his two 

+ Bailly and others have satisfactorily shown the earliest 
astronomical observations to have been made, and the zodiacal 


indicated ; because it may be that animal was then 
already regarded as the moving emblem of the 
planet of day, and had become one of its personifi- 
cations. We find evidence to this effect among 
those nations, neighbours of the Hebrews, who, as 
before remarked,' appear to have descended from 
north-eastern Scythae or giant tribes ; one of which 
worshipped Ana-Melek, according to commentators, 
in the form of a horse, probably the same idolatrous 
divinity known to subsequent Arabs by the name of 
Yauk. Other tribes, of more indigenous origin, had 
similar idols under the form of their own native Equi- 
dse ; such was Tarhak or Tartak of the Avim, who 
typified their national god by the figure of an ass, and 
Adra-melek is mentioned to have been formed in the 
likeness of a mule ; which, if the assertion were cor- 
rect, would establish the antiquity of that hybrid 
produce at an early period indeed ; but most likely 
we should understand by the name the hemionus 
of naturalists, which once existed as far to the south 
at least as Great Armenia and Asia Minor. 

In Europe, the black horse was long considered 
as a form of an evil demon; among the modern 
Pagan Asiatics, Schaman sorcery is usually per- 
formed w^ith images of small horses suspended from 
a rope ; and a sort of idolatrous worship is admitted 
even by Mohammedans, when effigies of the horse of 

constellations named, in a region more northerly than either 
Egypt or the plains of India ; therefore, anteriorly to the civi- 
lization of either, prior to the arrival of the horse ; and conse- 
quently we are carried back to an unknowTi social state in 
Bactria or Cachcmire, 

Introduction. 93 

Hosein, or of that of Khizr, the St. George of Islam, 
are produced. 

The earliest cavalry nations set the example of 
expressing beauty, power, exaltation, by terms 
which they also gave to the horse, and particularly 
in the north, made it a type of the sun ; thus, from 
the commencement of the first Persian dynasties, as 
already noticed, Vm% Pkar, P/ul, and Asp^ all 
names of that animal, are not only titles of the sun, 
but also names of frequent occurrence among the 
sovereigns and grandees. * The same practice pre- 
vailed among the Celtic and Gothic nations, where 
March, Hengist, Horsa, Uppa, Hako^ and Bayard 
are similarly observable. 

Pegasus and other winged horses figure in the 
constellations of all ancient systems, and with or 
without wings are types of victory, national em- 
blems, and standards of battle, either by exhibition 
of their skulls, their tails, or by whole or parts of 
the animal in a sculptured forra.t Most of the 
solar and year gods had sacred horses, which drew 
the idol's chariot, or were led before his shrine or 
the perpetual fire. Those of the Persian Ozmusd, 
as well as the royal stud, were invariably white, 
and were derived from Cilicia. Even the kings of 
Judah were repeatedly polluted by this idola- 

* Ninus, Pfid, Varanes, Pharnabasiis, Phraortes^ perhaps 
Pharaoh • again Lorasp, Gustasp, Sheerasp, Asphendiar, &c. 

+ The two-headed a\ inged horse of Egypt, Pegasus. Sieipner, 
the solar horse of Odin ; in the harvest month, Gul/axi, horse- 
skulls of the Sueiones, the figures and heads as signa of Xii'a, 
Susa, Corinth, Thessaly, Etruria, Carthage, Beturiges, Silures, Se- 
quani, Mauri feroces, Saxons, Tahtars, Turks, and many others. 


try. * In India and in Western Europe, where the 
same colour was venerated, one or more were annu- 
ally sacrificed to the sun, and even to other divini- 
ties, such as Ertha in the island of Riigen. From the 
Ganges to the Baltic, stalls for these animals existed 
about the temples and in the sacred groves. 

As the camel had been emphatically styled the 
ship of the desert, so was the ship denominated the 
horse of the sea. Under the names of horse and 
mare, the helio and lunar arkite enclosure, or kid, 
was typified by the Celtic Druids of the fifth and 
sixth centuries, when their ancient lore became 
amalgamated with Gnosticism ; and the eastern 
fables of Bellerophon and Perseus had their myste- 
rious counterparts in western initiation. 

To ancient Egypt we appear to be indebted for 
the first systematic attention to rearing and im- 
proving breeds of horses. Numerous carved or out- 
lined pictures, in temples and halls, represent steeds 
whose symmetry, beauty of outline, and even co- 
lour, attest that they are designed from high bred 
types, and evince the care bestowed upon them by 
the addition of grooms, who are rubbing their 
joints, and attend sedulously to their comfort on all 
fitting occasions, in the same manner as is still the 
practice in the East. In all these pictures, the 
horses are represented harnessed to chariots ; no in- 
stance occurring of a mounted rider, except on one 
occasion, where the execution of the design is recog- 
nised to belong to the Roman era. + 

* 2 Kings, xxiii. 11. 

+ There are two or three, indeed, where riders occur in 


Tlie Homeric heroes of the Ihad, the Persian and 
Babylonian warriors, likewise had these warlike 
vehicles ; but the last mentioned had no mounted 
cavalry until after the invasion of Madyes, or at 
least till the conquests of Cyrus, for chariots alone 
are sculptured on the bas-reliefs of Persepolis ; 
though, from the figures already noticed, found at 
Nineveh, the Medes were in all probability a 
mounted people at an earlier date. ^'' Saddle-horses 
were not common in the south of Western Asia, 
and perhaps not even in Media, since Cyras op- 
posed his camels to the Lydian cavalry of Croesus ; + 
and hence we may infer that riding steeds, of recent 
introduction, by the passes of Caucasus, along the 
west coast of the Caspian, gave the advantage to 
that power which was most accessible to the ad- 
Egyptian battle-pictures, but they always represent enemies, 
such as those opposed to Remses in his Asiatic expedition. 

* See note, page 87. 

+ Herodotus, Aristotle, and Pliny are sufficient authority 
for the original dislike of the horse to the camel, and the fact 
proves their subjugation and domestic habits were not theii 
completely established, for now, and for several centmies past, 
they are not only thoroughly reconciled to each other, but in 
actual friendship, since she camels suckle foals, and many of 
the best Arabians chiefly subsist on camels' milk. If Cyrus 
be Kaikaus and reigned in Bactria, it might be inferred that 
in Western Asia the first charioteers came through the Arian 
desert to the lower Euj^hrates ; but it is most likely their route 
lay between the Caspian and the Caucasus into Armenia ; 
though it is more probable that the bay stock of horses spread 
by the Sulimani range and Helmond to Southern Asia, Ye- 
men, and Egypt 


venturous warriors who came from the north and 
offered their services to the nearest sovereign. From 


that time, however, a mounted cavalry became con- 
spicuous in all the Aramean regions, and they are 
often represented in sculpture of a later period, in 
various parts of Persia. 

The people of Israel, we have seen, though shep- 
herhs of kindred origin w^itli the Edomite Arabs, 
had no horses in Goshen, and continued without 
studs till the Mosaic prohibition was disregarded by 
Solomon, who established a force of chariots of war, 
and, it is supposed, of mounted cavalry. It w^as 
then the kingdom extended in glory and in surface 
far beyond its ancient boundary. With the mer- 
cantile spirit of eastern princes, he monopolized a 
trade in horses, importing them in strings from 
Egypt, and out of all lands ; * he sold teams and 
chariots to the Phoenicians, who, as they did not 
possess land amiies or extensive territories, evi- 
dently bought horses for luxury, and still more fur 
exportation, t The Tyrians, at another time, ob- 
tained theirs from Armenia, and, no doubt, both 

* 2 Chronicles, ix. 28, and 2 Kings, x. 28. 

+ The sacred historian gives the prices both of horse and 
chariot : a horse from Egypt cost 1 50 shekels of silver, or about 
£17 sterling ; a chariot, most Ukely in part of east metal, was 
worth GOO shekels, or £ G8 8s. sterling. This trade was evi- 
dently carried on by the gross or string, as the price was not 
for different values of single horses ; and it proves that even 
then in Egypt they required particular care and were expen- 
sive in rearing, and that in Syria they were cither scarce or of 
mferior value. Sec 1 Kings, x, 29. 


carried them to their African colonies, to Crete, 
Sicily, Spain, and Greece. Thus it may have been 
that, in their allegorical poems, Helenic fabulists 
represented Neptune striking the earth with his 
trident, and, producing the horse, distributed the 
species to gods and heroes. Similar opinions are 
held in modern times by the Circassians, who 
deem the Shalokh steeds, the noblest of Kabarda 
horses, to be sprung from the sea ; probably because 
tlie parent stock was imported by water. 

Recent authors have endeavoured to maintain, 
with still less appearance of reason even than Buf- 
fon s opinion concerning the original location of the 
domestic horse, that Arabia had no horses in the 
early ages, nor during the Roman empire, and 
scarcely any at the date of the hejira. In support 
of this opinion we are told, that, in the second cen- 
tury, horses were sent a present to the reigning 
princes of that country; that in the fourth, two 
hundred Cappadocian steeds were again forwarded 
by the Roman emperor to the same region ; and in 
the seventh, when Mohammed in person attacked 
the Koreish, that he had but two of these animals 
in his army; finally, that not a single horse was 
captured by him in his sanguinary and victorious 
campaign. * Without disputing the facts, we may 
nevertheless refer to what has already been said in 
the foregoing pages, to show the condition of the 

* See the Horse, *•' Library of Useful Knowledge," 8vo. 1831 ; 
a book we have consulted with great interest, and invaluable 
in many particulars : its humane tendency is above all praise. 



question as it regards the immediate neighbours of 
Arabia, and next offer a few facts which we think 
completely refute the argument. Although Mecca 
and Medina, and the Edomite camel-riding clans of 
the west coast and Wady Moosa, may not have 
possessed many horses, the admission in no way 
disproves that abundance of them were in the hands 
of the Bedoueen tribes, and in Yemen. They are then 
already described riding naked like the Nuraidians, 
without saddle or bridle, and guiding their horses 
with a rod or with a sinole thonoj. The first conflicts 
of the prophet, with his own tribe and others, were 
mere mob quarrels of townsmen and camel herds. 
Even at this day, the Edomite Arabs, residing along 
the upper part of the Red Sea, exclusively use ca- 
mels or walk : their country is too barren to sup- 
port more than sheep and goats; and the people 
talk of the riding Arabs, and their splendid horses, 
with w^onder, envy, and delight. * But the Be- 
doueens, the true wandering Aral iln Arab^ for 
many centuries the neighbours of Canaanites, Baby- 
lonians, Syrians, Persians, and Farthians, robbers 
by profession, could not possibly be without them. 
Already, before the fall of Jerusalem, Hebrews of 
the tribes of Manasseh and Gad, stray remnants of 
the captivity, had taken refuge in the desert, and 
exercised a nomad system of warfare under a suc- 
cession of their own princes. They fought great 
battles, they captured Mithridates and two brethren, 
Asinous and Anileus, and defeated a Parthian army, 
* See Laborde, " Journey through Arabia Petrea." 


commanded by Artaban in person, entirely com- 
posed of cavaby. 

When, in revenge, the Jews were massacred in 
Iran, they were not exterminated : whole families 
sought refuge among the Eastern Bedoueens and 
Southern Arabs of Yemen, where they were re- 
ceived as Matnoub ; and several centuries later, 
their wrongs not forgotten, they joined heartily in 
the Islam cause, and avenged the memory of their 
ancestors in the memorable battle of Kadesiah, 
where the Parthian dominion was laid prostrate.* 
In proof that they bad horses at the commence- 
ment of the Roman empire, we appeal to Hirtius 
{de Bell. Alex.\ where Caesar is recorded to have 
sent to an Arabian, Regulus, there styled Malchus, 
that is, Melek, for a reinforcement of cavalry ; f 
later, but still before the hejira, we hear of a war of 
forty years' duration, between the tribes of Abs and 
Dobian, which arose out of a dispute on account 
of a race between two horses named Dahes and 
Ghabra : next, when we look to the tenor of the 

* Matnoub are strangers to whom is conceded the privilege 
of pitching their tents on the same Une with the hospitable 
tribe. It is conjectured that these adopted families gradually 
merged in the Arab tribes, and were the chief cause of the 
numerous Hebrew names we find given to individuals, — such 
as Issa, Haroun, Musa, Daoud, Suleiman, Jussuf, Ibrahim, &c. 
It is natural that their fine intellects should give them influ- 
ence, Islam a new impulse, and with the tenacity of tribal 
reminiscence, revenge was an additional stimulus. 

+ Laborde shows the Nabatheans to have had cavalry, de- 
riving their horses from the Scenite Arabs. The Nubian Arab 
tribes are still headed by their Meleks. 


poems once suspended in the Kaaba, all reported to 
have dated before the era of Mohammed, we find 
in Amriolkais, Amru, and Antar, animated and 
technical descriptions of the horse, splendid pictures 
of cavalry battles, and notices, which attest that 
the nation had their noble breeds from their ances- 
tors. They are written with all the feeling of con- 
noisseurs habituated for ages to excellent horses, 
and show a thorough knowledge of what constitutes 
their best qualities. Finally, if the Arabs had been 
without horses, had not possessed them in abun- 
dance, and of the best quality, at the time of their 
uniting under the sway of the Koran, no enthu- 
siasm could have suddenly transformed mere herds- 
men into the best and most daring cavalry of their 
era, or enabled them in a few campaigns to crush 
the enormous mounted armies of the Sassanian Par- 
thians and the disciplined science of Eastern Rome ; 
none but a people long in possession of numerous 
and well trained chargers could have given wings 
to the sword of Islam, and in sixty years planted 
its victorious banners on the Pyrenees and on the 
banks of the Ganges. 

Nevertheless, in these researches, no proofs of an 
indigenous wild race of horses can be traced, nor, as 
already mentioned, does the nature of the region 
and of the vicinity offer the requisite conditions for 
maintaining them. It is to care in breeding and 
crossing imported races of animals, to attention in 
sclcctiuir the finest forms, that Arabia owes the 
celebrity of its studs. Evidently Egypt, Persia, 


and Armenia first supplied the nomad tribes with 
the means of producing their magnificent races, and 
the comforts of the domestic tent, the constant pre- 
sence of human kindness, the experience of interest, 
the proportions of a scanty but nutritive food, the 
abstemiousness in drink, and the dry sunny climate, 
were necessary to the full development of the excel- 
lent qualities they possess : hence, Arab chiefs may 
have desired and willingly received horses as pre- 
sents from renowned breeds of Egypt, or from the 
warlike races of Upper Asia. Presents of horses in 
the East have always been interchanged or given, 
but that fact is no argument that the receivers were 
in want of them ; it only shows Arabia and Lower 
Asia to have been, as it still is, without horses in 
such droves as are seen in the north, and that the 
great variety of colours in the Arab breeds arises 
from the introduction of foreign animals. With the 
nations of Central and still more of Northern Asia, 
the case formerly was very different, and in some 
measure is still so. Attention and selection in 
breeding is only casual, where immense herds of 
horses occupy pastures of interminable surface; 
where, from the absence of human interposition, 
they retain the instincts of independence: under 
such circumstances, the resident proprietors, little 
valuing individual animals, care only for the aggre- 
gate numbers ; the whole people are mounted, and 
do nearly all their domestic work in the saddle; 
they cross rivers by holding their horses' tails, or 
fastening them to rafts or boats, convey themselves 


and families to the opposite shores, sometimes seve- 
ral miles distant. Of all the races of man, they 
alone eat their flesh, drink the milk of mares, and 
know how to convert it into cur mi, an intoxicating 
beverage ; they marry on horseback, their councils 
meet on horseback, and declarations of war, treaties 
of peace or alliance, are dated from the stirrup of 
the sovereign. * 

The nations of High Asia were inventors of the 
bridle, of the true saddle, of the stirrup, t and pro- 
bably of the horse-shoe. With many of them, a 
horse, a mare, and a colt were fixed nominal stand- 
ards of value, such as the cow was once among the 
Celtse. In a general view, equestrian habits be- 
come more and more decided as we advance towards 
the East. In Europe, the Poles continued to elect 
their kings on horseback to our own times. At pre- 
sent, no nation of the west can oppose an equal 
force of cavalry to the Russian ; in the earlier cam- 
paigns of Suwarrow, the Russian could not cope 
with the Turkish ; a century ago, the Turks were 
inferior to the Persian horse; and these were re- 
peatedly overwhelmed by Usbeks, Afghauns, and 
Toorkees, who, descending from North-eastern Tah- 
tary, came from the Jaxartes down the valley of 
the Oxus, each in turn propelled by riding armies 

■*^ Not a few of these habits are, however, already in vogue 
among the Abipones and Pawnees, the new Tahtars of Ame- 
rica, both in the north and south. 

f Slirrup, or liikiob, first mentioned by Avicenna, Of horse- 
shoes we shall speak hereafter. 


from the same quarter. Tahtar tribes repeatedly 
swarmed westwards from the age of Attila to the 
thirteenth century, when they still penetrated to 
the Nile and as far as Silesia ; and twice within the 
middle ages, Tahtar hordes invaded and subdued 
China. To such a people, the present of a few 
horses may appear an expression of consideration or 
of value, on account of the rarity of their breed, but 
a mere troop of horses, as such, cannot be deemed 
of consequence to the smallest khan, in a region 
where, according to Marco Paolo, the Chagan pos- 
sessed more than ten thousand head of white horses 

When, therefore, we endeavour to fix the original 
habitation of the domestic horse, considered as a 
single species, and we recal to mind the statements 
already made respecting the remains of these ani- 
mals found in the soil, the regions where they are 
still observed in a wild state, as will be shown in 
the sequel more at large, and compare the facts 
with the foregoing reflections, it seems to be clearly 
demonstrated that the aboriginal region, where the 
wild horse was first most generally subdued, should 
be sought in High Asia, about the fortieth degree 
of latitude, the table lands whence riding and cha- 
rioteer nomads have incessantly issued, penetrating 
to the east, the south, and the west, from periods 
evidently anterior to historical record, almost to our 
own times ; that from Central Asia, northward and 
westward, and including, to the south, Bactria, the 
valley of the Oxus, Northern Aria, Chorasmia, and 


probably tbe whole of Europe, constitute the great 
primitive habitation of the horse. Far to tlie north 
the species has no congener, but soon the kemiomis 
is known to be its companion ; and further south, 
the wild ass extends eastward across the Indus to 
the Bramaputra and west into Africa, far up the 
banks of the Bahar-el-Abiad and Atbara. '^ Other 
congeners there are on this side the equator, but 
they are not sufficiently known, nor is their precise 
location determined. 

These reflections are in harmony with the earliest 
appearance of horses in the south-west of Asia ; 
they admit a succession of immigrations, and in 
some degree point out the routes followed by colo- 
nies and conquerors possessed of horses; and in 
conjunction with other remarks, for which we refer 
to our description of wild horses, the conclusion 
appears to be further substantiated by an evidence, 
which is generally regarded as the most ancient 
written record in existence, namely, the book of 
Job, — where the author, in a description of the 
horse, unsurpassed in sublimity by any profane 
writer, notices the flowing mane, or as our version* 
express it, " a mane clothed in thunder." An allu- 
sion to the mane of a horse, in bold and figurative 
language, indicates the character of this fine orna- 
ment to be conspicuous; but on reference to the 
pictured forms of ancient Egyptian war-horses, or 
to the high bred chargers of Arabia and Southern 

* Voyage on the Balir Abiad, or White Nile, by M. Adolphe 
liinaut. GeogT. Journ. 


Asia, it is but little applicable; nor do we find it 
long or flowing in wild horses ; those, however, of 
Northern Asia and Eastern Europe, that belong to 
a particular race, possess it in all the glory of poeti- 
cal exuberance. In the inspired vision of the writer, 
we fancy he descried one of those Scythian tribes, 
belted haik wearers from the regions of Caspian 
Caucasus, — riders, not charioteers, — who had pene- 
trated to the region of the hippopotamus and croco- 
dile* as conquerors or as hirelings, for such the 
north has ever produced for the service of the south 
of Asia. 

These remarks, we trust, will not be considered 
entirely irrelevant, for, without them, the natural 
history of the Equine family would contain little 
more than technical distinctions and enumerations 
of species, races, and breeds, without touching upon 
topics of high interest to the biblical reader, the 
philologist, and the historian. All of them deserve 
to be treated more at large, but we hope to have 
done sufficient to excite attention and lead others 
better qualified than ourselves to researches in the 
directions here pointed out. We shall now proceed 
to give a succinct review of the races of renown 
mentioned by the poets and historians of antiquity, 
and mark in their descriptions the uniformity of 

* Hippopotamus, elephant, or rhinoceros. The geogrcaphi- 
cal position of the writer of the book of Job, as well as his era, 
remains inexplicable ; although there exists a tomb ascribed 
to Ayoub, perhaps of the Mevelevi Dervish of that name, near 
Birs Nimrod. 


colours and cliaracters recorded of the primitive 
breeds, to create a belief that the nations who first 
subdued their horses derived each their own race 
from the wild stock in their vicinity, and therefore 
that varieties at least in colour occupied diflferent 
regions ; such as the pied in the central mountains 
of Middle Asia, the dark bay southwards of the 
banks of the Jyhoun or Jaxartes, the dun more 
westward — as far as the Caspian, the white on the 
north shore of the Euxine, and the sooty and black 
in Europe. We shall find among these, races al- 
ways clouded of two colours, others constantly 
marked with a black streak along the spine, often 
cross -barred on the joints, with dark or black extre- 
mities; and again, another, where circular spots, 
commonly clearer than the ground colour, occur, — 
whether they be bay, blackish ashy, or grey : the 
durability of these distinctions, not obliterated even 
in our time, during more than three thousand years 
of perpetual crossings of breeds, affords another 
and a strong argument in favour of an aboriginal 
difference of species in the single form of the do- 
mestic horse. 


From what has been said of the apparent distri- 
bution of the primeval forms of Equus Cahallus^ we 
may consider the variety first known to the nations 
of liistorical antiquity, was that which from geogra- 
phical position would be the first to spread among 


them ; this was the bay stock, which, coming from 
the eastern borders of the Caspian, probably the 
property of the shepherd kings, reached the Nile 
and became an object of enlightened attention with 
the government, from the moment the invaders were 
expelled. The proof of a systematic care in breed- 
ing may be presumed, from a similarly coloured 
race being predominant in Asia Minor, Assyria, 
and Armenia, but inferior in stature and beauty, 
and with thick unsightly manes, as will appear when 
we come to the Grecian horses. In Egypt, on the 
government farms, they were evidently improved in 
elegance, as may be gathered from the outline pic- 
tures in the temples and tombs, where they are 
figured equal in size to the present Arabian, but 
shorter in the back, with rather slender arched 
necks, straight chaffrons, large eyes, small pointed 
ears, a small body, clean limbs, and the tail well 
set on, not abundantly furnished with hair, and in 
the oldest representations the mane hogged ; an in- 
dication of recent subjugation : where these outlines 
are filled with colour, the animals are painted red, 
either bay or chesnut, and sometimes left white. * 
A race of this stock was in possession of the Ca- 
naanites perhaps before, but most certainly after, 
the defeated shepherds, flying from the Cyrbonian 
lake, retired to the Hauran, east of the Upper Jor- 
dan, — for then commenced that breed which is still 
of the first value, though now considered Arabian. 

* I have been told of one instance where a pair of chariot 
horses are spotted ; but not knowing the locality, they may 
belong to a later date. 


From this locality it is likely the robber remains of 
Dan and Manasseh, in subsequent ages, first drew 
their horses, and they may have been the means to 
spread them in Yemen. 

The bay stock is likewise seen in Egyptian pic- 
tures, brought as tribute ; and on some occasions, in 
representations of battles, it is mounted by riders of 
Upper Asia, equally advanced in the arts of civiliza- 
tion. The Lydian breed, so valued for stature and 
the strength to carry heavy- armed riders, in the time 
of Croesus, is to this day principall}'^ brown ; but the 
Arian horses, probably allied to the Masacian, the 
breed of Susiana, now, and possibly at an early pe- 
riod, in the hands of an Arabian people, are not 
described. Those of the breeding station at Aspan 
Farjan, near Darab, in Persia Proper, are equally 

We may refer with some confidence to the bay 
Scenite race of Arabia, the Apamean studs of Syria, 
where, according to Strabo, three hundred stallions 
and thirty thousand mares were maintained for the 
service of the government ; but the Bal)ylonian of 
Herodotus, who assigns eight hundred stallions and 
sixteen thousand mares to that stud, may have been 
of different origin. In Egypt, the system of atten- 
tion to the breeding of horses relaxed, and gradu- 
ally fell into disuse, when reduced to a province. 
The Persians and Romans, from reasons of state, 
would prefer building temples to rearing horses. 

The breed of Syene, on the Upper Nile, is like- 
wise praised, but not so much as the Calambrian 
bays of Lybia, where there is still a valuable race 


of horses. The Numiclian, Mauritanian, and fulvous 
Gastulian, with long lips, bold lion hunters, but 
smaller than the last mentioned, and less valued, 
were of the same origin. The Cyrenian, handsome 
and fleet horses ; the Calpe breed, and Lusitaniaa 
of Spain, and the Agrigentine of Sicily, bays and 
chesnuts, with some white, appear to belong to this 
stock, conveyed westward by Phoenician and Car- 
thagenian ships, and partially mixed with other 
blood. Bat the dark bay, Peleian of Epirus, were 
no doubt of the true original stock. 

The next in historical importance was the Median 
race, best known by the name of Nisean ; because, 
in tlie plain about Mount Corone, there was in the 
time of Darius an enormous hippobaton belonging 
to the government, whence the ill-fated monarch 
drew one hundred thousand horses to oppose the 
Macedonian invasion, and still left fifty thousand in 
the pastures, which Alexander saw in his march 
through that country ; they were all, it appears, of 
a dun or cream colour, which caused some Greek 
writers to assert that the Median cavalry was 
mounted upon asses ; * but shows that it was de- 
rived from the wild race, farther north, which is 
still of a similar colour, with an asinine streak down 

* " Nisa omnes equos flavos habet." Plin. The Nisean plain 
is mentioned by Arrian and Diodorus. Ammian, Marcel, places 
their pastures in the plains of Assyria, west of ]\Iount Corone, 
which forms a part of the Zagros chain. Alexander, in passing 
tlu-ough Kelone, on his march to Ecbatana, saw the remaining 
herd. The spot is now a resort of the Beni Lam Arabs. This 
locality does not agree with other authorities, who place th« 
Nisean plaai east of Casbeen, 


the back, cross-bars on the joints, and even on the 
shoulder; the muzzle, mane, tail, and pasterns, 
black. Isaiah mentions a chariot drawn by asses, 
xxi. 7 ; and Herodotus, that the Medes used wild 
asses to draw their war- chariots; both apparently 
referring to the dun variety, which can be traced 
even now in the Ukraine, and is know^n in Scotland 
by the name of eel-hack dun : or they confounded it 
with the hemionus^ which w^e may take also to be the 
Caramanian asses used in war-chariots, or took it for 
the same breed; as also a cream-coloured one that 
penetrated very early into Greece, and w^as known 
in the time of Homer by the name of Epeian. The 
Eleian Epirotic, of dun colours, and subsequent 
Dacian and Sarmatian, were coarser varieties. The 
Asiatic and Greek are stated to have been of good 
stature, but those of the Danube low, with small 
heads, huge manes and tails, exceedingly hardy and 
vicious, which is still in some measure true of the 
Wallacliian, and more particularly the Ukraine 
race. * It was most likely this race which gave 
Media a momentary ascendancy : they had the 
mane shorn on the near side, while the off hair was 
suffered to hang down at full length. But there 
must have been a breed emphatically the Nisean, of 
great rarity, since Masistius is stated to have rode 
one at the battle of Platgea, and Xerxes was drawn 
by four in his expedition to Greece : Alexander 
gave another to carry Calamus to the funeral pile, 
and the kino^ of Parthia sacrificed another to the 

* This race was the first emasculated, on account of its fierce- 
ness ; and hence geldings, in Germany, are still called Wallachs. 


sun while App. Tyaneus was at his court. There 
is here, perliaps, some confusion in ancient authori- 
ties ; for we find, that from the time of Cyrus to 
Darius, the Persian kings were drawn by white 
horses, and that Darius had his stud of that colour, 
consisting of three hundred and sixty war-horses, 
drawn annually from a Cilician breed. * This was 
most likely the breed which supplied the horses of 
the sun, always of a pure white livery, and particu- 
larly mentioned for its stately action and arched 
neck bedecked with a long floAving mane ; or there 
was a white breed among the real Nisean, of such 
value as to be reserved for the great, and to be the 
object of particular mention in presents and on other 
important occasions. The mare which carried Da- 
rius, in his flight from the battle-field at Issus, was 
probably more fleet than showy, but her breed is 
not mentioned. If the beautiful mosaic battle-pic- 
ture, lately discovered at Pompeii, may be trusted, 
the Nisean horses of the royal chariot were certainly 
elegantly shaped animals ; and it is from them, most 
likely, that Phidias took the types of the beautiful 
sculptured horse, of which we still possess the head 
in the Biitish Museum. 

, The Persians, at a later period, derived from the 
Erythraean Sea a white breed, speckled with black, 
and so highly valued, that it is still eagerly bought 
up by grandees for purposes of parade. 

Another breed of antiquity, one of older date as 

* It seems, however, to be noticed by Homer under the 
name of Dardanian. jEneas had a set, and those of Rhesus, 
all attest the locality of the white stock. 


a saddle-horse in the legends of Europe, and second 
in speed only to the Persian, was that which, after 
the overthrow of the Macedonian dynasties, became 
conspicuous as the principal stock of the Parthian 
cavalry, and was distinguished by a muscular form, 
excellent feet, great courage and elasticity combined 
with gentleness, but still more by being invariably 
white, clouded with large deep bay spots, piebald, 
or more technically called skewbald. This race was 
known in Europe as early as the arrival of the 
Centaurs, and historically constituted the Thes- 
salian and Thracian breeds. It seems that Homer 
indicates both its speed and colours by the epithets 
of a/oXoTwXov 'jro'/CiXods^/iiovsg. * 

Such also was Bucephalus, the celebrated charger 
of Alexander, which he bought for sixteen talents 
from Philonicus, out of his breeding pastures of 
Pharsalia. The Parthians valued this race above 
every other, and bred it almost exclusively, fancy- 
ing even diiSferent coloured eyes in the same animal, 
probably because they believed a wall or moon-eye 
enabled it to see better by night. The Romans, 
however, di&liked piebald horses, because they were 
more easily detected in the dark. 

* Statius, when speaking of the mare of Admetus, points to 
their Centaur origin : 

" Quern et Thessalicis felix Admetus aboris 
Vix stcrilcs compescit equas, Centaurica dicunt 
Semina (credo), adco sexum indignantur et omnis 
In vires adducta venus, noctemque diemque 
Assimilant maculis intemigrantibus alhse. 
In the sequel we shall find Virgil equally attentive to these 
Characters, in describing the Ardean breed. 


The clouded horses of the Huns are remarked, 
we believe, as mounted by the Hiatili, who, coming 
from the north side of the wall of China, or more 
truly from Central Asia, seem to have been the last 
tribe of Gothic blood that reached the west about 
the time of Theodosius. * We next find Paul War- 
nefried, in the time of Charlemagne, extol them as 
the best for war, and when we come to describe the 
wild horses, we shall revert to this race, evidently 
sprung from the Tangum or Tannian highland form, 
pursue the later accounts of it to our own times, 
and by this genealogy point out a strong argument 
in proof that the movements of conquest in Europe, 
in China, in India, and in Persia, effected by so 
many nations all upon the same race of steeds, 
though at different periods, come from Central 
Asia, where alone the original stock is found w41d 
in Thibet. 

It appears, from what w^e have already said, that 
the horses of Asia Minor and Armenia were early 
in part of the bay variety, others of the pale dun 
wild stock of the north of the Caspian, and the rest 
the white : it is fair to presume, from the abundance 
of horses of that colour belonging to the races of 
Asia Minor and Armenia, all represented to have 
been of high stature, that they were originally de- 
rived from the dapple stock of the Scythian desert, 
described by Herodotus as roaming wild near the 

* In the Vatican fresco, where Attila is diverted from 
marchin.'^ to Rome, Raphael represents one of these horses, 
■R-hich bespeaks his information as an historic painter. 



Euxine, about the river Borysthenes ; this applies 
chiefly to the Cappadocian, and by what is said 
of the white Nisean, a Cilician breed, their origin 
is somewhat corroborated, there still being noble 
white studs of horses among the Circassians. TVe 
do not find whence Great Armenia derived its 
hardy race with huge manes, but probably it was 
of the wild dun-coloured, and from that very cir- 
cumstance occasioned the fashion of hogging it into 
a ridgy crest, a practice followed in Greece until 
the nation was subdued by the Romans. From 
Armenia the Tyrians derived horses, and it is be- 
lieved that trade existed already in the era of Nebu- 
chadnezzar. The Romans, in like manner, preferred 
these robust warlike chargers to the Egyptian, from 
the time they obtained footing in Asia, and regu- 
larly drew remounts from thence for their cavalry. 
There was, in the time of Homer, in Asia Minor, a 
Phrygian breed of c^erulean or light ash colour, 
clearly a variety of the white, but on account of 
the livery ascribed to a marine origin, and therefore 
styled Neptunian and Borean, because it came from 
the north and was extremely fleet. At a later 
period, the Colophonian, Chalcedonian, and other 
Greek Ionian breeds, were of a mixed race, carried 
across the Euxine by the colonies from Europe, who 
had, by their geographical position in the mother- 
country, tribes of diflerent descent that had each 
biouoht their own horses with them. 


Greece, we have seen, possessed horses of various 
origin, thoup;h the greater proportion were of the 


duQ and cream-coloured wild stock, wLicli included 
the Arcadian, much used for breeding mules, and 
the Chaonian : the Argolic, having a good head and 
fine limbs, hollow-backed but cat-hammed, were of 
the same blood, and appear to exist still in the 
Morea: the Cretan were neglected, though appa- 
rently derived from the best breeds of Asia and 
Egypt : those of Attica, vaunted by Sophocles, and 
probably mixed like the Cretan, if we may trust to 
Greek and sculptured representations, were ewe- 
necked, with large heads, shallow-chested, and hol- 
low-flanked, but with excellent limbs and feet, and 
possessed of high mettle. We know that the ^to- 
lian and Accarnanian, nursed in solitary plains, 
were large and warlike, scarcely inferior to the 
Thessahan ; they were nearly allied to the Abidean 
of Macedonia and the Pellan, which w^ere chesnut : 
the Tasnarian, sprung from Castor's horse, were no 
doubt white, and the glaucous or slaty ash-coloured 
breed of Ericthonius, belonging to Mjcense, also 
descended from a gift of Neptune, attest a foreign 
marine importation : of the Ma3garian and Eginetan 
mention is made only in a proverb. All these Gre- 
cian horses show no sign of an indigenous stock, 
unless it was the same as the Istrian dun ; all the 
breeds appear introduced by man, and, exclusive of 
those of the north, were little superior to the Italian 
and Gallic. 

In Italy, the Tarentine were of Greek origin, the 
same as the Apulian and Roseau of Rieti, praised 
by Varro, and now known by the name of Cala- 



brese : among them was the Hirpinic breed, and 
the Lucanian were the largest horses within the 
Alps : of the Tyrrhenian or Etruscan, we only know 
that they had a small nose, a very thick mane, and 
hard hoofs, being probably of the Rasenic stock, 
and allied to the horses along the Danube or Ister, 
for they were compared to the Yenedic and Adriatic 
race. In the islands the races were very distinct : 
of the Etna and Agiigentine horse we have already 
noticed their probable intermixture with the bay 
race introduced by the Phoenicians, and the Greek 
of difi'erent breeds; they were often victorious in 
the chariot races of Greece, and inferior in speed 
only to the Armenian and Iberian: but Sardinia 
and Corsica possessed an indigenous horse, one 
apparently not imported by man, perhaps of the 
Koomrah species of Africa, and resembling the 
smallest shelties of the Scottish islands : the former, 
though small, were full of fire, and the latter, little 
larger than great dogs, were so vicious, that it was 
necessary to hoodwink them to be mounted ; their 
feet were like asses', the manes short, and the tails 
long : these horses are still wild in both islands. 


Spain contained two very distinct forms of the 
animal, one indigenous, the other imported from 
Africa and improved by Phoenician attention ; this 
was the Hispanic Iberian of Calpe, or Lusitanian, 
so well known for flectncss and the fable of the 
mares being impregnated by the Favonian wind. 

*' Ore oranes verscc in Zephyrum stant rupibus altis." 
ViRG. Georg. iii. v. 273. 


A legend* which in after times the horse-dealers 
modified so far as to pretend that the foals begotten 
in this manner never survived their third year. The 

Ancient Spanish Mare. 

race was handsome, but timid, and had hollow 
backs and soft hoofs; it was chiefly bred in the 

* " Circa Olysipponem et Tagum equas favonio stante ob- 
rersus animalem concipere spiritum, idque partum fieri et 
gigui." Flin. viii. e. 42. Well represented in the Mosaics of 
Itahca ; see Alex, la Borde, " Descripcion de un pavimento en 
mosayco," &c. folio. They were the Honesti spadices of Vir- 
gil, and valued for the course in the circus ; hence Isidorus 
says: — 

" Color hie praecipue spectandus, badius, aureus." 

De Origin, lib. xii. art. 41. 


south-west of Sj^ain, from Gibraltar to the Douro, 
usually coloured dark bay, "syhicli shows the Asiatic 
blood, and grey, derived from a Mauritanian race, 
or from a mixture with the second : the Gallaican, 
which was small, hardy, daring, with excellent feet, 
and indigenous in the northern mountains of Astti- 
ria, hence also called Asturcan and Celtiberian, and 
spread through the Western Pyrenees, where those 
of Bilbilis, now Callahorra on the Ebro, were cele- 
brated, according to Martial, " Bilbilim equis et 
armis nobilem." It was usually grey, and in the 
Roman era was trained to ambling. Under the 
name of Thieldones, we find these ponies praised 
by Pliny and Martial, and extolled by Silius and 
Lemma Astureo, both native Spaniards. Lud. Car- 
rie, in his notes upon Leutprand's Chronicle, quotes 
the often repeated verses : 

" His parvus sonipes, nee marti notus ; at idem 
Aut in concusso glomerat vestigia dorso 
Aut moUi pacata celer trahit esseda coUo." 

The other horses of Europe become known to us 
only from the period when Rome had extended her 
empire to the Danube, the Rhine, and to Britain ; 
they may therefore be considered together, in their 
own characters, and in connexion with the relation 
they bore to the imperial administration. 

Helvetian Algoici were in request for durability : 
in common with the general breed of Gaul, they 
were black or sooty, and, as will be shown hereafter, 
were considered indigenous, long-backed, high-hip- 


ped, and heavy-maned, with small eyes, thick lips, 
covered with bristles : the best were Caiiterii, or 
geldings. The Menapian, of Guelderland and Lower 
Rhine, of the same colour, were, however, tall and 
cleaner about the hmbs, but still hairy-heeled; it 
was, no doubt, upon this kind of steeds the Bata- 
vian cohorts obtained their great reputation, for 
they were thought to be the best south of the 
river, though the breed extended into Germany. 
From Pannonia, the Quadic and Sarmatian nations 
residing on the Danube, the government bought 
horses, usually geldings, of tlie wild dun-coloured 
and dappled race before mentioned. "^' From Mysia, 
the present Servia, the later empei-ors drew a valu- 
able horse, and evidently not satisfied with those 
reared within the -pale of the empire, imported tlie 
])est they could obtain from the north and east of 
Europe ; such was Hadrian's celebrated hunter, Bo- 
rysthenes, most likely of the white or grey stock. 
From the same region came the Gelonian, which 
furnished its owners with milk, and served their 
predatory expeditions by its fleetness. The Alan, 
from the northern cantons of Germany, were inele- 
gant and low, but equally hardy and rapid ; but the 
Rugian was more esteemed for war. In the fifth 
century, the Huns, according to Yegetius, had large 

* There was among the Sarmatian a light bay breed, hand- 
some, with big heads and arched necks ; and those that were 
dappled in a particular manner on the shoulder and croup 
were sometimes bought, and at others refused, from an unex- 
plained belief that these marks were of evil omen. 


horses, with a hawk's-billed head, prominent eyes, 
broad jaws, a strong neck, and an immense mane ; 
they had round ribs, a straight back, sound legs, 
and a bushy tail ; their figure was low and long, 
but they were gentle and sober. 

In the British islands there was a race of indi- 
genous poneys which Cassar found in part subdued 
by the natives, and was known also for ages after 
to roam in a wild state in every part of the island : 
it is still imperfectly represented by the Scottish, 
Welsh, New Forest, and Dartmoor breeds, they 
having all the same characters of hardiness and a 
long low form with bushy manes and tails; the 
original colour may have been sooty, or else dun, 
with the black streak on the spine which marks 
the wild races of Northern Europe, — for these two 
colours are, we believe, the most frequent. The 
remains of war-cars discovered by Sir Richard Colt 
Hoare, and still more the remarks of St. Austin^ 
attest their stature ; for he says, " The Mannii, or 
poneys brought from Britain, were chiefly in use 
among strolling performers, to exhibit in feats of 
their craft." Although the legions, and in particu- 
lar the Alse of auxiliary cavalry, must have created 
a new British race of horses, composed from the 
different breeds brought to the island, and subse- 
quently amalgamated with a part of the indigen- 
ous race, the Anglo-Saxon conquest necessarily 
brought in a third, consisting of their own, a 
Jute, Frisonic, Frankish, Scandinavian, and Da- 
nish intermixture, — in which the Frisonic and 


Danish, most likely, furnished most of stature and 
of beauty. 

It Avas with these instruments of war and police 
that the Romans, in this respect far inferior to the 
Greeks, acted for ages in a spirit of legislation 
which evinced their ignorance of this branch of 
national economy. In a host of some thirty writers, 
poets, philosophers, and amateurs, among whom 
some few seem to have understood what points a 
good horse should possess, none felt the importance 
of improving the breeds they had upon fixed and 
sound principles; none saw in them more than 
objects of parade, luxury, war, or draught, that 
might be bought, like. a murrhine vase, for money; 
more anxious for the reputation of rhetoricians than 
for the acquirement of facts, they were busied in 
the manner more than the matter of what Greek 
authority had stated, never once correcting an error, 
supplying a new observation, or discovering a mis- 
statement; they believed in all the absurdities foreign 
horse-dealers thought proper to invent, or their ow^n 
idlers gossiped into omens : such was the case with 
Caesar's horse, which they gravely relate had human 
fore feet, and was an infallible sign of his coming 
fortunes ; and what was at best a mal-formation, it 
appears, was rendered important by a statue of the 
animal set up in public. They believed that bay 
horses were the best to hunt lions, slaty ash colour 
to attack a bear, and black to pursue a fox and 
other wild animals. Vegetius asserts that they were 
constantly the dupes of dealers, who passed off in- 


different liorses for steeds of high foreign breeds. 
There exist, indeed, a few fragments of the writings 
of veterinarians, which the poHcy of the govern- 
ment attached to the army, and these contain some 
of the most valuable information relating to horses 
the ancients have left ; but the Roman Italian ca- 
valry w^as alw^ays despicable, though individually 
brave ; for, seated on pads or inefficient saddles, 
loaded with heavy armour and weapons, in all real 
actions they were obliged to dismount, and could 
only oppose equally inefficient enemies, pursue or 
escape, without vigour or celerity ; they never were 
able to cope with the Pavthians, or face the Sar- 
matE8, excepting by means of their foreign auxi- 
liaries, Numidians, Germans, or Asiatics ; in general 
they acted only under cover of the legions, and 
Cgesar himself was so indifferent a cavalry general, 
that the celebrated Prussian hussar officer, Warnery, 
has ridiculed his dispositions, where cavalry are con- 
cerned, w^ith justice. 

If other proof were wanting of the absence of a 
true appreciation of the importance good breeds of 
horses are to a state, we shall find it in the absence 
of all government institutions of the kind, until 
taught by the misfortunes this neglect had brought 
upon the empire, some were tardily adopted in the 
Asiatic conquests. * Private studs there were, but 

* This was rather in the loAver empire, under the Byzantine 
sovereigns, who had retained tlie studs of Asia Minor chiefly 
in Cappadocia ; they favoured others in SjTia, and in the 
fourth century obtained their curule horses from a stud kept 


they belonged to the wealthiest families of Rome, 
and were managed by servants in Spain, Africa, and 
the East, without the superintendence of the owners, 
as mere objects of revenue ; and in a few cases by 
young men of fiishion in Italy, who sought notoriety 
by being possessors of Pegasidas, a kind of fleet 
horses, a/A^ncrvro/, or double horses, for the purpose 
of imitating the Desultorii or mountebanks, who 
vaulted from one to the other ; or Thieldones, which 
were amblers ; or Guttonarii and Collatorii, trained 
to step in cadence with their feet high, or perhaps 
merely trotting ; all arts of education, and not qua- 
lities of races.'"* There were, besides, poneys known 
by the name of Manni, obtained from the Asturian 
and British provinces, which served for boys to ride, 
and it was the fashion in summer to shave all the 
upper parts of their bodies, as is still done with 
mules in the south of France. But where, in the 
government statistics, the laws, and colloquial lan- 
guage, horses were distinguished in the following 
classification, no notions of races or breeds could be 
generally entertained : 

at Pampati, near the Mansio Andaviliei, not far from Tyana, 
in Caramania. 

* The horses destined for the circus could not legally be 
applied to any other purpose, and it became the fashion to 
talk of their pedigrees in the horse-breeding provinces, such as 
Spain ; hence Statins, in the second century, says, — ■ 

" Titulis generosus Avitis 
Expectatur equus, cujus de Stemmate longo 
Felix emeritos habet admissura parentis." 

Lib. V. s, 4. Protrep. ad Crisp, v. 22. 


1. Equus Avertarius^ or Sagmariiis. The bat or 
sumpter horse. 

2. Eq. Puhlicus. Horses maintained by govern- 
ment for the Equites. 

3. Eq. Sellarius^ or Celes ; xsXrig. Saddle-horse. 

4. Eq. Agminales. Horses maintained for public 
purposes, on cross-roads, where there were no posts. 

5. Eq. Cur sales, or Veredi. Post-horses. 

6. Eq. Desultorily or Par-es. Horses of mounte- 

7- Eq. Funales ; 1 and 4 of a quadriga., 2 and 3 
h^mgjugales, ^v^oi. 

8. Eq. Lignei ! Wooden horses, for youth to 
learn riding. 

9. Eq. Singulares. Horses of volunteers. 

10. Eq. Triumjjhales. The four or six horses 
that drew triumphal cars. 

Nations, whose ideas are thus undefined on the 
subject of horses, we may rest assured are never 
really equestrian. In the above series we find, how- 
ever, that where the machinery of dominion was 
concerned, the Romans, as in war, could also bor- 
row from their enemies systems of administra- 
tion ; such as regular post stations to convey public 
officers and orders ; imitated by Augustus from the 
Persian A.straiidi, or Astandi ; w^here there are still 
expresses called Chuppers, as in Turkey, Tartars, 
always distinguished by their yellow caps. The 
Romans had, for the same purpose, horses selected 
for their swiftness, and thence called Pegasidae, sta- 
tioned at the mutationes of their cursus puhlicus or 


post roads ; and it was in imitation of the govern- 
ment, tliat Pegasidse or fast going horses became 
fashionable among the great. * 

Copying, no doubt, from nations possessed of 
great droves of horses, we may beheve the legionary 
cavalry marked theirs on the thigh ; for it was the 
practice to fix similar brandmarks upon the horses 
of the circus, not as the property of individuals, but 
as attached to one of the four fact io?is of the chariot 
races. Several of these are distinctly marked in 
bas-reliefs and other ancient monuments, and are 
here represented : 

:t I (^ i i -^ K X] 

But the Imperial government, without foreseeing 
it, was nevertheless the first cause in Europe of the 
improvements in domestic horses, by permitting as 
much as possible the remounts of the foreign co- 
horts, stationed often at opposite extremities of the 
empire, to be drawn from the native region of each ; 
and we may judge, as stallions were mostly used in 
the cavalry service, how much, for example, in 
Britain, Alse and cohorts of Dacians, Mauritanians, 

* See the Notitia Imperii. Pancirolus. We may also men- 
tion here the classification of horses in the old monastic insti- 
tutions: they were divided into, — 1st, Mcmni, large geldings 
for the superiors ; 2d, Buncini, runts, small nags for servants ; 
3d, Sumerna7'ii, or sumpter-horses to carry baggage ; and 4th, 
A ve?ii, plough-horses on the church lands. 


Dalmatians, Thracians, Asturians, Sarmatians, &c. 
must have influenced the form, colours, and quali- 
ties of horses in the island; and similarly, if the 
order was equally adhered to, how the British sta- 
tioned in Armenia and Egypt may have introduced 
their own to Asia and Africa. It is to this practice 
that the great intermixture of colours and characters 
of the horses of Europe may he ascribed, although 
the effect was greatly modified when the invasions 
of barbarian conquerors subsequently broke into 
both empires, each nation conveying along with the 
whole moveable property its OAvn native breed of 
horses into the newly acquired territory, and leaving 
a second amalgamation to future generations. With 
the exception of the Huns, who withdrew again, 
the Magyar or Hungarian, and some other nations 
in the east of Europe, most were already known, 
and their horses had been introduced by purchase 
before they came as conquerors ; we may, however, 
imagine the black race in Spain and in Morocco to 
have originated in the Alan and Vandal conquests, 
and the rufous or chesnut breeds of the north-cast 
of France to derive from the Burgundian invasion. 

We intend to resume this subject when the his- 
tory of the present breeds of horses shall be con- 
sidered, and therefore remark only, that in antiquity, 
with the exception of the black race reared in Gaul 
and Western Germany, the Asiatic and African 
bays, /3aX/oj, and the white of Asia Minor, all the 
breeds of horses were undersized ; and indeed it was 
not desirable to have them fifteen hands high, as 


long as the stirrup to mount tliem remained un- 
known. In vain Xenoplion instructs riders how to 
reach the saddle without lying across the horse in 
an unseemly attitude ; men loaded with armour al- 
ways found it difficult to gain their seats, they 
wanted a lift of the left leg to rise ; stepped upon 
the right calf of an attendant ; had an inconvenient 
cross-bar near the bottom of their spear to place the 
foot on, or strained the horse in making it rise after 
lying down to receive the rider ; or finally, Oriental 
servitude induced the principal officers of state to 
gTOvel on all-fours, while the sovereign mounted 
upon their backs and thence across his saddle, as is 
still, we believe, the practice with the grand vizir 
when the sultan goes and returns in state to and 
from the mosque. 

The stapes^ or stirrup, is asserted to be known 
only since the eleventh century, Avicenna, who 
died in 1030, being the first who mentions it "' ; but 
we have evidence, even in Saxon England, that the 
instrument in question was known at a much 
earlier period, for there is an outline drawing of a 
horseman riding in stirrups in a MS. Aurelius Pru- 
dentius, with Saxon annotations, in the Cotton 
library of the British T\Iuscum, marked Cleopatra, 
C. S., and engraved in Strutt's Horda Angelcynnan ; 

* The Persian bas-reliefs represent riders without stirrups ; 
although all the barrovvs on the plains of Tahtary, v/here 
horse-bones and saddlery are detected, produce them of metal ; 
and we have not observed a single illuminated Oriental MS., 
JapancsGi, Chinese, Tahtar, Persian, Turkish, and Arabic, when 
horsemen are figured, wlicre they do not ride iu stirrups. 



this MS., and a duplicate at Cambridge with simi- 
lar designs, are Loth ascribed to the latter end of 
the ninth century. We believe to have seen other 
instances in French and German illuminated books, 
and think that the Spanish Saracens introduced the 
custom. It is true that there are Anglo-Saxon MSS. 
of so late as the eleventh century, where designs re- 
present horsemen without stirrups ; but this proves 
only that, like in all other great innovations, time 
alone confers universal consent ; for, in the figures of 
horses published by Strada, and representing those 
of different nations, there are still some in Europe 
and in Africa without them, and, until lately, seve- 
ral tribes of JMahrattas in India used none. 

In the time of the Roman conquest of Syria, 
there were Bedoueen Arabs who, like the Numi- 




European. Mule. Tahtar. 

Ancient Horse-slioes, 

dians, still rode without bridles. With regard to 
horse-shoes, recent authors have concluded that they 


are of comparative luodern invention, but we refer 
to the horse-shoe found at Tournay in the tomb of 
the Frankisli king, Childeric (who died about 480), 
which Mr. Bracy Clark would ascribe to a mule be- 
cause it is small, when he should have considered 
the horses were of low stature ; '^ and if it were of 
a mule, still would prove the practice of shoeing. 
We know, moreover, that the Asiatics of the north 
made a variety of horse-shoes for many ages ; and 
in the high region of the Kirguise country, even 
now, they shoe their horses with pieces of deers' 
antlers, and in Iceland occasionally sheep's horn, — 
in both cases effected by the peasants, and not by 
reg-ular farriers. In Southern Asia, where the far 
greater proportion of the earth's surface consists of 
sandy plaint and dry deserts, the horses' hoofs are 
hard, and therefore do not even now suffer the ope- 
ration of shoeing, at best a questionable advantage ; 
hence none of the Arab or Persian nations w^anted 
or invented them. The marches of Alexander may 
have been impeded, and the operations of Mithri- 
dates thwarted, by their horses being overworked in 
rocky districts ; and it is sufficiently clear that in 
Rome horse-shoeing was unknown to the end of 
the republic, and began in the time of Csesar. Vir- 
gil seems to have been guided by his feelings for 

* A mule in the tcmb of a nortliern king, a Frank, would 
have been an insult to his memory. As Pagans and horse- 
gacrificers, the object is sufficiently clear, and the size of the 
animal corresponds to the era and the race of horses then used 
in Germany. 



the heroical in speaking of horses, for Catullus evi- 
dently alludes to horse-shoes in the line where the 
object is indeed a mule : 

" Ferream ut soleam tenaei in Voragine raula 

Nero had horses shod with silver, and his wife, 
Poppasa, had her mules similarly protected with 
gold ; and although Beckman, after Cardamus, 
would insinuate that these were plates, it still is 
evident that they were fastened with nails, since, 
in the life of Caligula, Suetonius expressly notices 
the iron shoe, with eight or more nails, as remarked 
by Aldrovandus. * It is probable that the ancient 
shoe was similar to the present thin plates used in 
Persia, which may be perforated with nails any- 
where, and are very like the Turkish, only the last 
nientioned have a small opening in the middle, but 
the heel and frog are quite covered. There are in- 
deed ancient Talitar horse-shoes of a circular form, 
apparently with only three nails or fasteners to the 
outside of the hoof, as may be seen in the brand- 
marks of the first race of Circassian horses : t this 
was perhaps the shoe the Tahtars used, and which 
every horseman could fasten on without the aid of a 
farrier. There is further evidence in favour of the 
antiquity and form of the usual shoe, in the circum- 
stance, that from Ireland to the extremity of Siberia, 
from Lapland to Abyssinia, from the Frozen Ocean 

* " U. Aldrovandus de Quadrupedibus," fol. p. 50. 
f " Pallas's Travels." It is the brandmark of the Abassian 
race of Shalokh. 


to Canton and to the Malay islands, the horse-shoe 
is found nailed against buildings, under the same 
system of mysterious superstition, and evidently 
from a remote age, — for how, otherwise, could the 
practice have spread over the whole world. "We 
have seen it sculptured in bas-relief with a Runic 
incription certainly as old as the ninth century, ac- 
companying a figure of Ostar, upon a stone found 
on the Hoheustein, near the Druden Altar in "West- 
phalia, a place of Pagan worship that was destroyed 
by the Franks in the wars of Charlemagne: had 
the horse-shoe been invented in that age, it could 
not already have become an object of mysterious 
adaptation in the religion of barbarians which was 
on the wane at least a century earlier. 

It has been remarked that the Romans paid only 
a tardy and imperfect attention to breeding horses, 
and Ave have observed also that the stature of these 
animals, with exception of the races before named, 
was below^ the present ordinary size. The Norman 
pirates carried in their ships the small hardy breed 
of Scandinavia, still in perfection in Iceland : all 
the riding nations from the east and north, — Huns, 
Bulgarians, Goths, and Magyars, had small horses : 
those of the Ardennes, of many parts of France, of 
the Camargue, of Switzerland, the Pyrenees, and Bri- 
tain, were s'till smaller : the Netherland Menaphian 
alone appear to have reached a full stature. It was 
therefore in the first centuries after the Moslem inva- 
sion of Spain, France, and Calabria, when art and 
science began to revive, and the great empire of the 


Franks could and did provide wide-spreading pre- 
cautions against invaders, among which the most 
pressing were those that were calculated to resist 
the conquests of Islam. With the newly introduced 
stirrup, they could more properly adopt heavy de- 
fensive armour, and in order to give the Christian 
chivalry a fair chance of success, that ^hich would 
increase the stature of their war-horses became an 
object of importance. Accordingly, about this pe- 
riod, we begin to observe, in the West, places for 
breeding and institutions of horse-fairs. * The 
Moorish and Spanish Vandal (Andalusian) breeds 
gradually passed the Pyrenees, captured in forays, 
received as presents, or introduced by Jews, who 
were then great horse-dealers. The race of the 
Frankish Netherlands, carried to the south, and the 
largest mares that could be procured in Lombardy, 
were crossed by the southern varieties in breeding- 
places called Haras^ modified after a name which 
was derived from some nation on the Danube, 
where Garas and Guida denoted both sexes of that 
animal. The Anglo-Saxons denominated them horse- 
steeds ; the Celtic nations, Arich ; f and the Bel- 

* In this view the Welsh march is connected with the Teu- 
tonic marcJit, a market, — and Latin mercator and mcrces may 
be of Gallic origin. The German Jahr marcid, annual fair, 
always denoted one where horses were sold, in its original 

+ Argylc, in Scotland, is presumed to be derived from Are- 
Gael, the breeding or horse-stud of the Gael. Sted, or steed, 
from the Teutonic stute, a marc. Broisel is said to be derived 
from broedQn, to breed ; broisel, a brood. 


gians, Broisel, — for sucli is the interpretation of 
Brussels, — the site wlere the city stands being an- 
teriorly a breeding Jastiire, on the river Senne, 
formed by the counts of Louvain before Brabant 
was raised into a duchy. The fair of Beaucaire 
became the great mart for horses as early as 832, 
when the count of Barcelona built the castle : others 
existed from the Celtic or Roman times, at those 
places called Venice, — as Yienne on the Rhone, 
Vienna on the Danube, Yannes in Brittany, Yenta 
Belgarum, or Winchester, Yenemaere near Ghent, 
and new horse-fairs sprang up in many places. 

It was then that the nobility and chivalry of 
Europe, leading almost a nomad life, in quest of 
war and adventures, began to pay large prices for 
tall, fleet, and strong horses : the Christian kings of 
Oviedo and Leon were often pressed to sell or pro- 
cure war-horses. We find a pope, John, applying to 
the king of Gallicia for " Aliquantos utiles et opti- 
mos Mauriscos, quos Hispani caballos Alfaraces 
vocant." These Alfaras, or Andalus, were a cross 
breed of Arab blood upon the black Yandal and 
other Gothic races, themselves crossed with Roman 
and the ancient Spanish Calpe studs; which last 
retained the name of Ginetas because they were 
smaller and fit only for light armed cavalry. Afri- 
can and Barbary blood, by crossing w^ith the Gothic, 
likewise rose in stature, and spread in Navarre to 
the Garonne. These two formed the first well 
bred horses in Christian Europe, and the grey being 
most accessible, probably in consequence of a farther 


cross with the Galliclan mountain race, was soon 
noticed in France by the names of Ferrant^ Auf er- 
rant, and Blancferrant, as they were of different 
shades of their colour. We find in the older poets 
and troubadours, repeated reference to them ; such 
as, — 

" Chacuns d'eux broche son auferrant Gascon. 

La peust on voir maint auferrant d'Espagne. 

D'Estriers, auferrant et Gascon," 

occur, showing that auferrant is occassionally in- 
tended to express the native country of the destrier 
or charger ; for dextrier, destrier, or dextrarius, were 
terms given to a war-horse because it was led by a 
groom or squire until wanted for battle : the word, 
besides, was synonymous with great-horse and war- 
horse, and denoted his quality, without reference to 
colour or race. * 

In Britain, we have already pointed out the gra- 
dual importations in the time of the Romans and 
during the Saxon invasions, although the last men- 

* These terms stood in contradistinction to the smaller 
sized horses, called acMnece, in French hacqtienes, with tis Iiack- 
net/s, and in Italian uhinas; there were, besides, arlanni, scoppce, 
and palfreys^ all under-sized horses, usually bred to ambling, 
and the last mentioned almost exclusively reserved for the use 
of ladies, was if possible white or marked with some peculiar 
colours. I know of only one instance where a knight in full 
armour is pourtrayed riding a mule dressed in annorial trap- 
pings, and that is of Piero Farnese, 1363, a statue in the pro- 
portions of life, and perhaps in real armour, over a door in the 
cathedral of Florence ; for a drawing of which I am indebted 
to ray friend Seymoxir Kirkup, Esq. 


tioned cannot have been considerable, if, according 
to the venerable Bede, the insular Saxons did not 
begin to ride much before the year 630. Athelstan 
is the first on record who, in 930, received German 
running-horses as a present from abroad, and there- 
fore had more particular opportunity of improving 
the English stock by the infusion of select foreign 
blood : these presents came from Hugh the Great, * 
when he solicited the Saxon king's sister in mar- 
riage ; and he seems to have bestowed some attention 
on the subject, since lie issued a decree prohibiting 
the exportation of horses without his licence ; and 
the order proves that his steeds were already suffi- 
ciently valuable to incur the risk and expense of ship- 
ping them for the continental fairs. In a document of 
the year 1 000, we find the relative value of horses 
in this kingdom, directing, — ^if a horse was de- 
stroyed or negligently lost, the compensation to be 
demanded was thirty shillings; a mare or colt, 
twenty shillings ; a mule or young ass, twelve shil- 
lings ; an ox, thirty pence ; a cow, twenty-four 
pence ; a pig, eight pence ; and a man, one pound ! 
In the laws of Hyweldda, sovereign of Wales, 
dated a few years before this period, a foal not four- 

We derive the facts of this and the following paragraphs 
from a treatise on " The Horse," published under the superin- 
tendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 
1 vol. 8vo. 1831. The text says Hugh Capet by mistake ; it 
was Hugh the Great, father of Capet, who married, in second 
nuptials, Ethilda, daughter of Edwaxd the elder, and sister of 


teen days old is valued four pence; at one year 
and a day, forty-eight pence; and at three years, 
sixty pence : this refers evidently to the native 
horses, for there it is ordered to tame them with 
the bridle and rear them as j^alfreys or serving- 
horses, but the war-horse is not mentioned. When 
completely broken in, the value rose to one hundred 
and twenty pence, but if left wild or an unbroken 
mare, was worth only sixty pence. 

The trinal system of the ancient Celtic nations, it 
is perceived, still continued in use at that time, 
and may be traced in the laws regarding horses ; 
for to obviate the frauds of dealers, the following 
singular regulations were in force : the purchaser 
was entitled to time, in order to ascertain whether 
the horse was free from three diseases. Three nights* 
possession to determine whether he was not subject 
to the staggers; three months to prove the soundness 
of his lungs, and one year to remove all apprehen- 
sion of glanders. For every blemish discovered after 
purchase, the dealer was liable to a deduction of 
one-third of the money, excepting in obvious cases, 
such as, where the ears or tail were defective. Com- 
pensations were likewise granted in cases of injuries 
done to hired horses ; all showing a humanity of 
principle, emanating from the Celtic source, notwith- 
standing that prince had repeatedly visited Rome 
for the purpose of rendering his code more perfect. 
We find, even among the enactments, that " who- 
ever shall borrow a horse and rub off the hair, so as 
to gall his back, shall pay four pence ; if the skin 


l)e forced into the flesh, eight pence ; If the flesh 
be forced to tlie bone, sixteen pence." * 

Until the latter part of the tenth ceatury, neither 
the Anglo-Saxons nor the "Welsh employed horses 
in the plough ; but about that period, some innova- 
tion of the kind must have occurred, since a Welsh 
law prohibits the farmer to plough with horses, 
mares, or cows, oxen alone being lawful. On a 
part of the border of the so called Bayeux tapestry, 
representing the landing of William the Conqueror 
and the battle of Hastings, A. D. 1066, a piece of 
needlework ascribed to the dexterity of Saxon em- 
broiderers, there is a representation of a man driv- 
ing a horse attached to a harrow; which is the 
earliest instance we have of horses used in field 

With the Norman conquest, effected by adven- 
turers from every country in the west of Europe, 
a marked improvement took place in the breed of 
horses : the martial barons and their followers had 
brought with them a great force of cavalry, and they 
were sensible that it was owing to superiority in 
horse the victory had been obtained. It was then 
the effect of the Spanish breeds extended to Eng- 

* According to the Anglo-Saxon computation, forty-eight 
shillings made a pound, equal in silver to about three pounds 
of our present money ; in value to fifteen or sixteen pounds : 
five pence made one shilling. " The Horse," page 23. — There 
were also the qualities required to constitute a good horse, in 
triplets, — 3 of a woman, 3 of a lion, 3 of a bullock, 3 of a sheep, 
3 of a mule, 3 of a deer, 3 of a wolf, 3 of a fox, 3 of a serpent, 
and 3 of a hare or cat ! All whimsically applied. 


land; William himself rode, in battle, a favourite 
charger of that race ; and among the installed 
nobles, Roger de Boulogne, * Earl of Shrewsbury, 
established the race of Spain on his newly acquired 
estates at Povisland. In the year 1121, during 
the reign of Henry I., the first Arabian horse on re- 
cord was introduced ; about the time Alexander I., 
King of Scotland, presented another to the church of 
St. Andrews : both of these were most likely real 
Barbs from Morocco, and were acquired by means 
of the Jew dealers. Our Norman princes were, 
however, not only attentive to improve their studs 
in England, but perhaps still more so on the conti- 
nent ; for, it is at this period that both the bay and 
the grey races of Norman horses were formed, which 
continue still to be the best in France. At the 
battle of Hastings^the. horses were not yet barbed, 
nor the knights ^^ompletely covered in armour, 
and their lances were still sufficiently light to be 
cast like darts; but during the reign of Henry II., 
we think, from the increased number of " great 
horses," both horse and man were protected by 
mail or other defensive armour ; the helmets closed 
with visors, and the lance became ponderous, and 
could only be used couched. In this reign circa 
1170, Fitz Stephen the monk, in his description of 
London, mentions trotting horses, brest? horses, 
and running horses, and relates with animation the 

* I do not find whether it was Roger de Montgomerie or his 
son Robert dc Bclcsme, or Boulogne ; the names appear to be 


races that took place in Sraithfield, whither mer- 
chants and strangers resorted, and which was then, 
it is evident, a great mart for foreign as well as 
native horses. Then was the era of the crusades : 
thousands of the hest horses went with their riders 
to perish in Palestine, and those champions of the 
Cross that survived to return, were always in such 
distress, that they could not, if they would, bring 
oriental steeds back to their homes. Richard I., in 
the various metrical poems concerning his expedi- 
tion, is mentioned riding a Gascon bay, a Cypriot 
roan, and several Arabians. Two other Cyprus 
horses sung in romance, most likely never came to 
England, though 

" Yn this worlde they hadde no pere. 
Dromedary and Destrere, 
Stede, Rabyte, *, no Cammele, 
Goeth none so swifte, without fayle." 

We perceive, in the sum of two pounds twelve 
and sixpence, given by the king, in 1185, for fifteen 
breeding mares, and distributed by him to his tenants 
at four shillings each, the low value of the common 
race, as compared with ten capital war-horses, which, 
some years later, cost twenty pounds a piece, — the 
demand and necessary consequence of the havoc 
made among them during the frenzy of distant 
marine expeditions; and in the case of a pair of 
chargers, twelve years after (1217), brought over 
from Lombardy at the extravagant sum of thirty- 
eight pounds thirteen and four-pence, we find the 
* An Arabian. 


eagerness evinced for possessing the largest and 
heaviest war-horses then in Europe. For in the 
rich pastures of the river Po, a race of ponderous 
Destrieros had been formed, which, if they ac all 
resembled those figured by the early sculptors on 
the monuments and statues of Condotieri, were 
equal to our largest breed of dray-horses, the boast 
of London brewers. 

King John had a passion for horses ; he imported 
one hundred chosen stallions from Flanders, and 
thereby contributed materially to the improvement 
of that class of horses which subsequently became 
more exclusively employed for draught. In the 
same reign, a gentleman named Araphitil Till, one 
of the numerous persons who fell under the enmity 
of the king, was imprisoned, and agreed to pay for 
his ransom ten horses, each worth thirty marks, 
which is nearly equal to £ 300 of our present 
money : * but the circumstance only proves the 
value of his stud, not that they were of English 

Whether the old grey breed of England was of 
the same extraction as the Norman is uncertain ; 
but while the crown was in possession both of that 
country and Guienne, where the Ferrant breed 
abounded, it is likely that from the time of Henry II. 
it had been introduced ; for the names of grey 
Lyard, and Sulyardt, occur in ancient heraldry 

* See RjTner's Fccdera, quoted by Henry. 
+ Lyard, dappled gi'cy ; Sulyard, mouldy gi"cy. The ancient 
fiamily of Sulyard bore for arms a stumbling white horse, and 


and early English poetry. In a satire on Edward, 
Earl of Cornwall, hinting at his escape from prison, 
there is the following allusion to it : 

" Be the leuf, be the lout, Sire Edward, 
Thou shalt ride sporeless o' thy Lyard, 
All the righte way to Doverward." 

Edward II. purchased thirty Lombardy war- 
horses and twelve heavy draught-horses, between 
which there could not be much difference, except- 
ing in the training. His son, Edward HI., expended 
one thousand marks for fifty Spanish horses, and 
obtained for their transmission a safe conduct from 
the kings of Spain and France, who showed more 
liberality in granting the boon than he did to a 
German dealer, who, having imported some Flan- 
ders stallions on speculation, was only permitted to 
re-embark them, but not to take them to Scotland, 
where no doubt they would have amply repaid 
him, since, so late as the reign of Queen Mary, 
Perlin, a French traveller, remarks, that the Scots 
chivalry were wretchedly mounted. '" 

Edward had many 7'unning horses^ by w^hich we 
think are meant fleet hunters, of a lighter make 

for motto, " Hoist Bayard." Byard, or Bayard, denoted a bay, 
probably from the Arabic hayel, a horse. Aldrovandus thinks 
that Villus^ the name of Belisarius's charger, indicates a bay ; 
we think it derived from vale^ a pale or Isabella horse. Bayert, 
nevertheless, is an old Teutonic word, to which, in the Nether- 
lands at least, the idea of black was affixed, 

* Desoription d'Angleterre et d'Ecosse, par Etiemie Perlin, 


than the " great horses," which it was believed re- 
quired bone ; their price was about twenty marks, 
or three pounds six and eight-pence. That prince 
was fond of field sports, and felt that war-horses 
would give him no superiority in continental battles, 
where during several reigns all our kings won their 
great victories fighting on foot. 

Italian great horses, there is reason to believe, 
were imported, if not for breeding, at least for 
mounting the nobility and richest knights ; for al- 
though we do not know whether they were sent to 
England or only presented, Paul Jovius relates that 
Galeazzo II., duke of Milan, gave seventy war- 
horses to Lionel, duke of Clarence, all furnished 
with saddles of velvet, embroidered with silver. 

From this time English horses improved steadily, 
and the amount demanded and given, and the mal- 
practices of dealers, caused Richard II. to issue an 
edict in 1386 to regulate their prices. In this do- 
cument, ordered to be promulgated in the counties 
of Lincoln and Cambridge, and the east and north 
ridings of Yorkshire, we perceive the principal 
breedino- localities were then the same as now ; but 
the civil wars began at this time to arm one part of 
the nation against another, and the breed of horses 
diminished and deteriorated greatly during the san- 
guinary struggles of three-fourths of a century. 
Philippe de Comincs, who saw an English anny 
which Edward TY. disembarked in France, speaks 
with little admiration of its equipment or armour ; 
and it is probable these deficiencies were not re- 


paired while Henry VII. sat on tlie throne, for he 
prohibited the exportation of stallions, and even of 
mares, unless they were above two years old and 
under the value of six shillings and eight-pence ; 
by which, it may be, was meant the unimproved 
pony breed. We think this the only intelHgible 
way of explaining an order, which could otherAvise 
be easily evaded. 

Henry YIII., with ostentatious propensities, was 
anxious to possess a valuable breed of horses, and 
his connexions with Charles V. evidently facilitated 
the acquisition. In the tournaments and processions 
of which drawings and engravings remain, the grey, 
golden bay, and deep bay Andalusian and Asturian 
breeds may be represented : he was not, however, 
satisfied with his own stud ; his arbitrary temper 
devised a law, by which it was intended none but 
good horses should be kept, fixing a standard of 
value for that purpose, and regulating that the 
lowest stallion should be fifteen hands high and the 
mares thirteen hands ; and before they had arrived 
at their full growth, no stallion at two years old, 
under fourteen hands and a half, was permitted to 
run on any forest, moor, or common where there 
were mares. At Michaelmas tide, the neighbouring 
magistrates were ordered to " drive " all forests and 
commons, and not only destroy such stallions, but 
" unlikely tits," whether mares, geldings, or foals, 
which they might deem not calculated to produce a 
valuable breed ; he moreover ordained, that in every 
deer-park a certain number of mares, in proportion 


to its size, and each at least thirteen hands high, 
should be kept ; and that all his prelates and nobles, 
and " all those whose wives wore velvet bonnets," 
should keep stallions for the saddle, at least fifteen 
hands high. These regulations, though they died 
with the obstinate and wTong-headed king, effected 
little towards improvement, but greatly diminished 
the number of horses; for when Elizabeth, forty- 
one years after, called out the whole strength of her 
chivalry to oppose the expected invasion of the 
Spaniards, she could muster only three thousand 
men-at-arms mounted; and Blundeville, who wrote 
on the art of riding, speaks with contempt of the 
qualities of the horses. Yet there existed then a 
valuable showy breed in England, eagerly bought 
by foreign grandees for state occasions, particularly 
when they were white or light grey, as is proved by 
the notice of Aldrovandus, who died blind and aged 
eighty, in the year 1605. The majority, neverthe- 
less, were strong sturdy animals, fit for slow draught, 
and the few of lighter structure were weak and 
without powers of endurance. But now commenced 
the practice of racing, chiefly at Chester and Stam- 
ford ; and although these were as yet without sys- 
tem, admitting hunters and hackneys and every 
description of horse, the foundation was laid of that 
rising improvement in English horses, to which we 
shall revert when the particular breeds of the pre- 
sent time are reviewed. "' 

* See " Tlie Horse," page 27. Grooming, on the English 
plan, was already an object of attention abroad j for JMaiirice, 


Both the foregoing remarks, and the account of 
the ancient hreeds of horses, appeared to be neces- 
sary in a preliminary statement, before the question 
of wild horses could be considered ; because, while 
they throw, we hope, some light on their primitive 
distribution, considered merely as different races, as 
varieties, or as distinct forms, more or less approach- 
ing to actually separate species, they prepare the 
reader more fully to enter upon the question of the 
true wild horse, and the distinctions which, even 
now, animals collectively so called present to the 
observer. We have shown that varieties of colour, 
at least, were in the earliest ages located in a line of 
nearly the same latitude, but separated in longitude 
from east to west upon geographical surfaces, where 
there still remains evidence of their presence, not- 
withstanding the lapse of ages, and the position 
they occujDied in the colonial route of nations ; and 
that their gradual intermixture was effected by these 
causes, and still more by the north-eastern progress 
of Islamism. There are allusions to the different 
stocks, beside those already noticed, in the sacred 
and profane writers ; the former in the mysterious 
visions of the prophets, and even in the Revela- 
tions ; * the latter in poets and historians to the 

the learned landgrave of Hesse, in his secret visit to Henry IV. 
of France, observed, in 1602, " English gTOoms with the king's 
liorses at the LomTe." 

* Zachariah, chap. i. ver. 8, although in a mysterious allu- 
sion, yet marks the bay Syrian, the white Armeno- Persian, 
and piebald Macedonian race ; and in the Revelations, chap, vi.,' 



thirteenth century of the Christian era; and we 
shall point out, in the next chapter, that feral 
horses return to particular colours or liveries, as a 
further proof of the probability in favour of the 
views offered in the present. 


As among the Equidae the domestic horse is beyond 
comparison the most important species to man, so 
is it also the type of the others in systematic ar- 
rangement, and the constant object of reference by 
which their station and qualities are judged ; hence 
the horse, properly so called, occupies singly the 
far greater part of the history of the whole group. 
Having already furnished some description of the 
ancient history of the animal, we can now, before 
we proceed to detail that of the races at present 
diffused over the surface of the world, enter upon 
the question of the wild horse, — one which natu- 
ralists are not wholly agreed on : we shall make 
some remarks on varieties now extant which appear 
to have a claim to be distinct, being regarded as 
such by the natives of the localities where they re- 
side ; and examine whether they, like the differently 

the same Vvhite and bay, the pale Median, and the black Ro- 
man or Scythic ; they are not golden, nor silvery, nor green, 
nor blue, but actually taken from existing types, depicting the 
nations who owned them. 


coloured forms of horse already noticed are species 
osculating Avith others in their original state of li- 
berty, or mark one or more races that have returned 
to their primitive condition and resumed manners 
and habits conformable w^ith their organization, 
after they had been under the dominion of man, at 
an anterior period more or less remote. On the one 
hand, diiOferences cannot be consistently drawn from 
facts not immediately in the reach of physiology, 
without a careful consideration of the data that 
must justify them ; nor, on the other, can any ad- 
vance be obtained in this direction of the natural 
sciences, without the license and use of some daring 
in the solution of propositions depending in a certain 
degree upon induction from testimonial authority. 

Respecting the wild or rather feral horses, of 
South and North America, Cuba, and St. Domingo, 
whose origin is well known, no difference of opi- 
nion can properly arise, notwithstanding that a late 
acute observer detected, in alluvial deposits, the 
bones of horses in company with those of Megathe- 
rium, and apparently belonging to the same zoolo- 
gical period ; and that several recent travellers, in 
the northern portion of that continent, question the 
race of horses, now so abundant, being imported sub- 
sequent to the discovery by Columbus. * But doubts 

* Notwithstanding that the period of the destruction of 
]Megatherium, or INIegalonix of Jefferson, admits of Uttle doubt, 
there exists among the North American Indians a curious 
legend of a large animal they name Tagesho, or Yagesho, much 
superior to the largest bear, remarkably long-bodied, broad at 


may be entertained respecting the real source of the 
wild horses roaming from the Ukraine, in Europe, 
eastwards to the northern extremity of Chinese 
Tahtary : those about the Don, it is asserted, are 
sprung from domesticated animals sent to grass 
during the siege of Azof in 1696, * which could 
not again be entirely recaptured. Forster was dis- 
posed to consider all the wild horses in Asia de- 
scendants from strayed animals belonging to the 
inhabitants ; and Pallas, who had likewise travelled 
in Asiatic Russia, inclined to the same conclusions. 
He thought the horses from the Volga to the Oural 
the progeny of domestic animals; and again, that 
all from the Jaik and Don, and in Bokhara, were of 
the Kalmuck and Kirguise breed, remarking, that 
they are mostly fulvous, rufous, and Isabella ; while, 
on the Yolga, he noticed them as usually brown, 
dark brown, and silver-grey, some having white 
legs and other signs of intermixture. Undoubtedly 
men of science, so well trained to observation as 
both these learned naturalists, carry with their opi- 
nions a weight of authority which is evinced by 

the shoulders, more slender and weak behind, with a large 
head, short thick paws, and very long claws, spreading wide ; 
the skin almost bare, excepting on the hind legs, where the 
hair was very long, and therefore called a kind of bear: it was 
slow, but killed women and children, unless they escaped on 
rocks, trees, or in the water, and then swam last and far : the 
last was killed in an attempt to climb a rock where the hunters 
were posted. See " Legends of the North American Indians." 
Ma)iy of these characters will apply to a giant armadillo. 
* Or, as in other authorities, 1657. 



subsequent writers, who, not satisfied with acquies- 
cence in these conjectures, have actually pronounced 
them to be settled conclusions. Yet, knowing from 
personal experience, how little a traveller can see 
and determine by his immediate single observation, 
even in favourable regions, and taking into consi- 
deration the jealous character of the authorities, his 
confined condition in a sleigh or Russian travelling 
carriage, where he must pass over great distances in 
haste in order to reach a secure asylum, be constantly 
in the hands of the post officers, among a scanty po- 
pulation, strangers to the language of government, 
and still more to his own (the German) ; where, 
with rare exceptions, all are exceedingly ignorant 
and indifi'erent, and the climate three-fourths of the 
year prohibiting going abroad, we question whether 
under snch circumstances, opinions expressed with 
doubt should be adopted as conclusive. Now, if 
we examine the extent of the travellers' own imme- 
diate means of judgment, we find that they have 
occasionally seen troops of wild Equidas at a dis- 
tance, and been enabled to give one drawing of a 
living colt recently captured, besides two or three 
more species from living specimens or stuffed skins : 
surely a sweeping conclusion upon such scanty data 
may be convenient, but is scarcely deserving of ac- 
quiescence ; particularly when we take into account, 
that, including the collected opinions of those upon 
the spot, in themselves of only conditional value, the 
field of observation explored is scarcely a hundredth 
part of the surface whereon this zoological problem 


must be decided. The Russian dominions extend 
over the most level part only : four chains, at least, 
of enormous mountains, whose direction is even in 
a measure unknown, occur within the great basin of 
the Thianchan, the Little Altai, the Himalaya moun- 
tains, and Hindukoh ; and upon them there are table 
lands of more than 1 6,000 feet in elevation, not as 
yet traversed by a European foot, though known to 
be stocked with wild horses and other animals. Be- 
ginning from the chain, east of Budukshaun more 
than forty degrees of longitude, by from five to 
twenty of latitude, stretch north-eastward along the 
nomad haunts of the Kalmuks, Eleuths, Mongols, 
and Kalkas, consisting mostly of the sandy wastes 
of Gobi or Shamor, and to the west of these are the 
deserts of the Sea of Aral, the Karakoum, and 
wildernesses of the Kirguise. * Over the whole 
extent of this almost boundless surface, several 
species of Equidae are noticed, and shall we as- 
sume that these also are feral descendants of stray 
animals at the siege of Azof, though neither Forster 
nor Pallas advanced such an opinion ? Surely no : 
nor can we deny that in the south-eastern mountain 
frontier of Russia, upon the inclined plains resting 

* From longitude 73° to 1 13° east, and in latitude from 30" 
to 50° north. 

See Danville's map of China in Du Halde, drawn up from 
the Jesuit memoirs ; still the best and almost the only docu- 
ments for the greater part of the region in question. By late 
British travellers, who with almost super-human perseverance 
have penetrated into parts of the western extremity of Cen- 
tral Asia, our doubts are supported, as will be shown passim. 


against the central chain, the original wild Equus 
cahallus is still found ; and that in the other regions 
of the empire stretching westward, they are likewise 
of the wild stock, but more and more adulterated 
with domestic races as they approach towards Eu- 
rope, or have been long peopled by fixed residents. 
Even in the south-western steppes to the Ukraine, 
there have been wild horses, as is attested by the 
earliest historians, poets, and geographers: across 
these plains, ancient Teutonic or Indo-Germanic 
nations ; subsequently Ouralian tribes, Sarmatians, 
Huns, Bulgarians, Magyars, andTahtars, all mounted 
hordes, have passed, and some repassed ; and if the 
horses on the banks of the Don are of feral or of 
mixed blood, their origin and contamination is 
surely much older than the siege of Azof. Even 
at that period, there were still wild horses kept in 
the parks of Eastern Europe, like other game, for 
the service of the tables of the great. To admit, 
therefore, the conclusion, that all the wild horses of 
the old continent are descended from animals at 
some period under the dominion of man, appears a 
gratuitous assumption resting upon no proof, and in 
opposition to historical records from the time of 
Herodotus to our own age : it would imply the 
absorption into domesticity of the whole species, or 
of several species, in regions where such unbounded 
wildernesses exist, in several parts still maintaining 
the parent stock of other domestic animals ; or in- 
volve the total destruction of the original wild 
horses upon this immeasurable surface, where man 


subsequently could not prevent their again multi- 
plying to uncountable numbers; while in Europe, 
the most peopled part of the old world, there were 
still in existence wild individuals of a race never 
reclaimed. * 

As' long as the sources of information were scanty, 
and public curiosity had defined the objects of na- 
tural history with less attention, writers were more 
liable than at present to be misled by erroneous- 
and indistinct accounts, or by the absence of all 
information, and were induced to report the extinc- 
tion of species of mammalia in several places, long 
before they were warranted by the fact. The wolf 
existed in Britain for ages after historians had as- 
serted his destruction : Buffon, before the year 17^0, 
declared the stag extinct in England, while it is 
still found in Somerset and the north of Devon; 
although since his time agricultural extension and 
population have increased enormously. It was long 
believed in France that no beavers could be found 
in the kingdom, whereas they have recently been 
taken in the Rhone : the ibex was admitted to be 
extirpated in every part of Europe, excepting in the 
Alps, where his presence was doubted; we have 
ourselves seen several specimens in the country, and 
pointed out, in the Berlin Museum, the spoils of a 
female, shot in the Spanish Pyrenees by Count 
IIofFmansegg, without being recognised by him, 

* Ukraine wild horses, fit to be eaten, but net fit for tho 
saddle, says Beauplan. Equiferi are the Kondziki of the Poles, 
according to Rzonozynski. 



because he had surrendered his opinion to the com- 
monly received assertion that there were none in 
Spain. * We might extend the list to the regions 
of the elk, the bison, the lion, and others, but the 
foregoing are sufficient to prove that the extinction 
even of large wild animals is not so rapid as is 
often believed, — ^nor founded in fact, although it is 

Now, with regard to wild horses, in the relations 
of the ancients and in the travels of modern writers, 
though we have reason occasionally to suspect they 
mistake the onager and the hemionus for real horses, 
their still remains sufficient authority for their pre- 
sence in a state of nature, under one or other of 
their primasval forms, as far as the south and west 
of Europe, and in their characteristics assuming the 
same preference for opposite habitations in plains or 
in woody mountains, which we now perceive to be 
a leading distinction of the zebra and the Dauw ; 
traits of character the more important, as they indi- 
cate a different mode of living, a choice of plants, 
not alike in both, — a dissimilar temperament ; and 
when coupled with different proportions and posi- 
tion of the ears, an arched or plane forehead, a 
straight or curved nose, a difference of colour in the 
eyes, of the skin, of the hoofs, the constancy of their 

* We were shown the specimen with the foregoing account 
by Professor Lichtenstein, and when we asserted that it was a 
female ibex, he wondered at his own inattention, and remarked 
that his judgment had been perverted by his credulity: ad- 
mitting at once the truth of our declaration. 


iveries, of tlieir marks, in a streak alono- the back 
ind bars on the limbs, of dappled croups and shoul- 
ders, or of dark uniform colours, dense or thin 
manes and tails, although traits now mixed, feeble, 
and evanescent, they appear to be indications of 
original difference of forms sufficient to be distinct 
though osculating species, or at least of races sepa- 
rated at so remote a period that they may claim to 
have been divided from the earliest times of our 
present zoology. 

Wild horses, by Oppian denominated hippagri 
and by Pliny equiferi^ are first mentioned by Hero- 
dotus as being of a white colour and inhabiting 
Scythia, about the river Hypanis or Bog; he no- 
tices others in Thrace, beyond the Danube, distin- 
guished by a long fur. Aristotle {de Mirdb) indi- 
cates them in Syria, but with manners that seem 
to refer them to hemionus or onager. Oppian places 
his hippagrus in Ethiopia, and denies the presence of 
wild horses in Syria ; an opinion entitled to credit 
from his local knowledge and his description of the 
onager, which shows that he was acquainted with 
both. Leo Africanus, in support of Oppian, men- 
tions the wild horse of Africa as rarely seen or 
captured by hunters with their dogs, but to be 
entrapped in snares laid for them about the fresh- 
water springs. The Gordians produced in the shows 
of Rome eighty wild horses, according to Julius 
Capitolinus, and it is supposed they were obtained 
from Africa, where the family had its principal 
landed property: unfortunately no description is 


given of these animals. Leo and Marmol say the 
colour of the African wild species is whitish ashy- 
grey, with mane and tail short and crisped : Oppian 
makes the hippagri rufous. Struys saw wild horses 
near the isle of May and Cape Yerde, where they 
have not since been noticed ; and Mungo Park fell 
in with a troop of them about Ludamar, that fled, 
snorting, stopping, and looking back; but, again, 
gives no other particulars. None were ever pre- 
tended to be seen to the south of the equator in 
Africa ; and it may be asked whether these alleged 
horses are specifically the same as the Equus cahal- 
lus of the north ? In reply, we think that some of 
the foregoing accounts refer to the wild ass, whose 
silvery mouse colour may be more or less taken for 
white ; that others have seen the koomrah, which 
we shall describe as a distinct species , and, finally, 
that there may be feral horses in Northern Africa, 
although it is strange that none are noticed in 
Morocco, in Arabia, Persia, or India, where there 
should be great numbers, if the doctrine of African 
or Arabian original parentage is consistently main- 

In Varro, we find that there were wild horses in 
Spain ; the ancients generally admit their existence 
in Sardinia and Corsica; Dapper places others in 
Cyprus ; Strabo, in the Alps ; and we know that 
they existed in the British islands : all seem to 
refer to a sturdy form of mountain-forest ponies, 
still found in the province of Cordova, in the Pyre- 
nees, the Yogesian range, the Camargue, the Ar- 


dennes, Great Britain, and in the Scandinavian 
highlands : * all remarkable for an intelligent but 
malicious character, broad foreheads, strong lower 
jaws, heavy manes, great forelocks, long bushy tails, 
robust bodies, and strong limbs ; with a livery in 
general pale dun, yellowish brown, a streak along 
the spine and cross bars on the limbs, or the limbs 
entirely black, as well as all the long hair, and 
mostly having a tendency to ashy and grey, often 
dappled on the quarter and shoulders. They prefer 
the cover, delight in rocky situations, are dainty in 
picking their food, do mischief in plantations, and 
their cunning, artifice, and endurance is far greater 
than that of large horses. From many circum- 
stances, this form of Equus may be deemed indi- 
genous in North-western Europe, and aborigine 
distinct from the large black race of Northern Gaul, 
which once ranged wild in the marshy forests of 
the Netherlands, and was so fierce that it was held 
to be untameable. It was a gaunt, ugly animal, 

* These we take to have been the peall, gwihvst^ and heffil 
of the British Celtse, — tit and uppir.g of the subsequent Saxons, 
— for we find, in some notes taken from MS. documents col- 
lected for the Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists in Vita 
St. Huberti and Ste. Genovevas, " Runcini wd^o upjnng ;'''' and 
in a fragment apparently of the patrimonial property of the 
Carlovingian dynasty at Heristhal, some account of stabled 
horses and uppings. It is the same as the Finnic hepo^ Greek 
ifffos, and Latin equus, but the first of these only indicates the 
root to be connected with getting up, mounting ; hence our 
eppijig-fiiones or horse blocks, and Epping Forest, where they 
may have run wild, &c. 


with a large head and bristly mouth, small, pale, 
often blue eyes, a haggard and abundant mane and 
tail, which, according to Cardanus, when rubbed in 
the night, emitted sparks of fire; the hips were 
high, the legs nodose, and the feet broad, flat, and 
hidden in an immense quantity of long bristly hairs 
about the fetlocks : this form of horse may have ex- 
tended northward as far as the Hartz, for there, as 
in the Netherlands, we hear of traditions and legen- 
dary tales where the electrical phenomenon first 
mentioned, and the pale eyes, are evident ingredients 
of superstition to connect it with apparitions, de- 
mons, wizards, and Pagan divinities. It may, 
indeed, have been a feral branch, only in part wild, 
and introduced with the first Gallo-Belgic colony 
that ascended the Danube ; for the black-coloured 
horse occurs in Egyptian pictures, was evidently 
known to the Romans and Greeks at an early period, 
and was figured as Pluto's team : * if this suppo- 
sition could be substantiated, it would in some 
measure show the original location and route of the 
Centomannic Celts and true Gauls ; it would also 
indicate the bl?/jk race of Transoiiralian origin, Avitli 
the more probability, because melanism in horses is 
unknown among the bay breeds, and where it is 
intermixed, shows a tendency to obliteration. 

* The black demon-horse of the West appears to have been 
called a Baiert : Theodoric, carried off by one, shows its anti- 
quity. The wizard Scott's, and the horse Pardolo of Spanish 
legends, is of Gothic origin. I think there ax'e similar allusions 
to black horses in Tahtar tales. 


But the ancients all agree in their statements 
concerning wild horses of the north-east of Europe, 
residing, according to their narratives, from Pontus 
northward into regions unknown to their geogra- 
phy; some we have seen are described as white, 
and having the hair five or six inches long, charac- 
ters we find verified at present in Asiatic Russia 
and in the wild horses of the Pamere table land. 
In the woods and plains of Poland and Prussia 
there were wild horses to a late period. Beauplan 
asserts their existence in the Ukraine, and Erasmus 
Stella, in his work " De Origine Borussorum," 
speaks of the wild horsed of Prussia as unnoticed by 
Greek and Latin authors. " They are," he writes, 
" in form nearly like the domestic species, but with 
soft backs, unfit to be ridden, shy and difficult to 
capture, but very good venison." These horses are 
evidently again referred to by Andr. Schneebergius, 
who states, that " there were wild horses in the 
preserves of the prince of Prussia, resembling the 
domestic, but mouse-coloured, with a dark streak 
on the spine, and the mane and tail dark; they 
were not greatly alarmed at the sight of human 
beings, but inexpressibly violent if any person at- 
tempted to mount them. They were reserved for 
the table like other game." It may be that in both 
the above extracts the heraionus or the onager is 
presumed to be depicted, but the difference of mane 
and tail is so obvious, that such an objection cannot 
be entertained; and should it be said that these 
were merely feral horses, it might be asked in 


return, what a true wild species must be like to 
satisfy the dissentient. In our view, this form of 
horse is the original eelback dun of the west, and 
allied to the common Median horse of antiquity; 
the parent, by gradual subjugation and intermix- 
ture, of the mouse-coloured and sorrels still common 
in Lithuania ; and particularly of those breeds that, 
with the black streak along the back, have cross 
bars on the joints, and black mane, tail, and fet- 
locks. * These were the wild and feral horses of 
Europe, as far as Bessarabia, from the earliest era 
to the close of the seventeenth century ; and from 
the facts recorded, we nlfoy with some confidence 
conclude, that farther east, where Europe displays an 
Asiatic character, becoming more and more, as we 
advance in that direction, wild and uncultivable, 
that the appearances of the wild animals, particu- 
larly the horses, have retained their original nature 
more and more purely as we recede from the haunts 
of civilization, showing marks of degeneracy only 
where the old human migrations have passed, but 

* Rzonozynski compares the Polish wild horses (Kondziki), 
in size, to the Samogitian {Zmudzineh), mostly with tan or 
mouse-coloured liveries ; but there being other furs, attests 
they were mixed in his time. He describes the manners of 
the stallions, and admits that they can be trained, which, in- 
deed, is equally true of the zebra and quagga. He relates their 
extension over the Ukraine, and gradual decrease. See Hist. 
Nat. Ciuriosa Regiii Poloniae. Sendomir, 1721, p. 217. — For 
several of these authorities we must express our thanks to the 
Polish Literary Society (of Paris), and in particular to Colonel 
Lach SzjTma. 


leaving the typical characters everywhere percep- 
tible. This is the cause which induced authors to 
derive all the wild horses of Asia from the stray 
troop-horses at the siege of Azof, then, be it ob- 
served, already geldings^ yet made to replenish the 
steppes with a species of animals constantly noticed 
before and since as abundant in a wild state in the 
same regions ! Within these few years, Moorcroft 
and the brothers Gerrard, when they penetrated 
into Independent Tahtary and within the borders of 
China, met with numerous herds of wild horses, 
scouring along the table lands, sixteen thousand 
feet above the sea, and ef press not the least hint of 
their having been domesticated at any period. 

Whatever may be the lucubrations of naturalists 
in their cabinets, it does not appear that the Tahtar 
or even the Cossack nations have any doubt upon 
the subject, for tliey assert that they can distinguish 
a feral breed from the wild by many tokens ; and 
naming the former Tahja'^-' and Muzin, denominate 
the real wild horse Tarpan and Tarjmni. We have 
had some opportunity of making personal inquiries 
on wild horses among a considerable number of 
Cossacks of different parts of Russia, and among 
Bashkirs, Kirguise, and Kalmucks, and Vv'ith a suih- 
cient recollection of the statements of Pallas, and 

* If I mis-read not my note, Tahja., and tliis nam.e, I find 
also, in Nemnich, ■UTittcn Taga ; but I am not sure if it is there 
meant to bear the same definition as above. I took the word, 
on one or two occasions, to be applied to all iinoA^Tied horses of 
the steppes. 



Buffon's information obtained from M. Sanchez, to 
direct the questions to most of the points at issue. 
From the answers of Russian officers of this irregu- 
lar cavalry, who spoke French or German, we drew 
the general conclusion of their decided belief in a 
true wild and untameable species of horse, and in 
herds that were of mixed origin. Those most at- 
quainted with a nomad life, and in particular an 
orderly Cossack attached to a Tahtar chief as Rus- 
sian interpreter, furnished us with the substance of 
the following notice. 

" The Tarpany form herds of several hundred, 
subdivided into smaller troops, each headed by a 
stallion; they are not found unmixed, excepting 
towards the borders of China; they prefer wide, 
open, elevated steppes, and always proceed in lines 
or files, usually with the head to windward, moving 
slowly forward while grazing,— the stallions leading 
and occasionally going round their own troop; 
young stallions are often at some distance, and 
single, because they are expelled by the older until 
they can form a troop of young mares of their own ; 
their heads are seldom observed to be down for any 
length of time ; they utter now and then a kind of 
snort, with a low neigh, somewhat like a horse 
expecting its oats, but yet distinguishable by the 
voice from any domestic species, excepting the woolly 
Kalmuck breed : they have a remarkably piercing- 
sight; the point of a Cossack spear, at a great dis- 
tance on the horizon, seen behind a bush, being 
sufficient to make a whole troop halt ; but this is 



not a token of alarm, it soon resumes its marcli, till 
some young stallion on the skirts begins to blow 
with his nostrils, moves his ears in all directions 
with rapidity, and trots or scampers forward to 
reconnoitre, bearing the head very high and the tail 
out : if his curiosity is satisfied, he stops and begins 
t^ graze ; but if he takes alarm, he flings up his 
croup, turns round, and with a peculiarly shrill 
neighing, warns the herd, which immediately turns 
round and gallops off at an amazing rate, with the 
stallions in the rear, stopping and looking back 
repeatedly, while the mares and foals disappear as 
if by enchantment, because with unerring tact they 
select the first swell of ground or ravine to conceal 
them until they reappear at a gi-eat distance, gene- 
rally in a direction to preserve the lee side of the 
apprehended danger. Although bears and wolves 
occasionally prowl after a herd, they will not ven- 
ture to attack it, for the sultan- stallion will instantly 
meet the enemy, and, rising on his haunches, strike 
him down with the fore feet; and should he be 
worsted, which is seldom the case, another stallion 
becomes the champion : and in the case of a troop 
of wolves, the herd forms a close mass, with the 
foals within, and the stallions charge in a body, 
which no troop of wolves will venture to encounter. 
Carnivora, therefore, must be contented with aged 
or injured stragglers. 

" The sultan-stallion'"' is not, however, suffered 

* The sultan-stallion of a great herd was anciently an object 
of research for the chiefs of armies, who endeavoured to catch 


to retain the chief authority for more than one sea- 
son, without opposition from others, rising in the 
confidence of youthful strength, to try by battle whe- 
ther the leadership should not be confided to them,- 
and the defeated party is driven from the herd in 

*' These animals are found in the greatest purfty 
on the Karakoum, south of the lake of Aral, and 
the Syrdaria, near Kusneh, and on the banks of the 
river Tom, in the territory of the Kalkas, the Mon- 
golian deserts, and the solitudes of the Gobi : within 
the Russian frontier, there are, however, some adul- 
terated herds in the vicinity of the fixed settlements, 
distinguishable by the variety of their colours and a 
selection of residence less remote from human habi- 

" Real Tai-pans are not larger than ordinary 
mules, their colour invariably tan, Isabella, or mouse, 
being all shades of the same livery, and only vary- 
ing in depth by the growth or decrease of a whitish 
surcoat, longer than the hair, increasing from mid- 
summer and shedding in May : during the cold 
season it is long, heavy, and soft, lying so close as 
to feel like a bear's fur, and then is entirely griz- 
zled; in summer much falls away, leaving only a 
certain quantity on the back and loins : the head 
is small, the forehead greatly arched, the ears far 
back, either long or short, the eyes small and ma- 

them with the comaund (the antique lazzo), and then made 
them their chargers. The breed of Raksh, say the poets, was 
long traced in the herds of Masenderan. 


lignant, the chin and muzzle beset with bristles, the 
neck rather thin, crested with a thick rugged mane, 
which, like the tail, is black, as also the pasterns,' 
which are long : the hoofs are narrow, high, and 
rather pointed; the tail, descending only to the 
hocks, is furnished with coarse and rather curly 
or •wavy hairs close up to the crupper; the croup 
as high as the withers : the voice of the Tarpan is 
loud, and shriller than that of a domestic hoi-se ; and 
their action, standing, and general appearance, re- 
sembles somewhat that of vicious mules." * 

The feral horses, we were told, form likewise in 
herds, but have no regular order of proceeding : 
they take to flight more indiscriminately, and were 
simply called Muzin. They may be known by 
their disorderly mode of feeding, their desire to en- 
tice domestic mares to join them, by their colours 
being browner, sometimes having white legs, and 
being often silvery grey : their heads are larger and 
the neck shorter ; but their winter coat is nearly as 
heavy as that of the wild, and there is always a 
certain number of expelled Tarpan stallions among 
them ; but they are more in search of cover and of 

* Such is the general evidence, chiefly obtained from the 
orderly before mentioned ; a man wlio was a perfect model of 
an independent trooper of the desert ; who had spent ten or 
twelve years on the frontier of China, and, I understand, was 
often seen at Paris attending his Tahtar chief at the theatres, 
in 1814. My interpreter was an officer in the Don Cossack 
regiment of Colonel Bigaloff, whose French was not super- 
abundant. From the ^longolic troopers I obtained little in- 
formation ; they were stupid or unwilling. 



watery places, the wild herds being less in want of 
drink and more unwilling to encounter water, being 
even said not to be able to swim ; while the Muzin 
will cross considerable rivers. During winter, both 
resort to elevated ground where the winds have 
swept away the snow, or dig with their fore feet 
and break the ice to get at their food. 

Their olfactory sense, though not delicate in dis- 
tinguishing enemies at great distances, is remarkable 
for judging the nature of swamps, which they often 
traverse, particularly to the south of Lake Aral: 
when thus entangled at fault, their scent indicates 
the passable places, and the snorting of the first 
that finds one is immediately observed and followed 
by the others. * 

The genuine wild species is migratory, proceed- 
ing northward in summer to a considerable dis- 
tance, and returning early in autumn. The mixed 
races wander rather in the direction of the pas- 
tures than to a point of the compass ; nearer Europe, 
they haunt the vicinity of cultivation, and attack 
the hay-stacks which the farmers make at a dis- 
tance in the open country. Though in many respects 
they have similar manners, they want the instinct 
of the wild : upon being taken young, after severe 
resistance, they submit to slavery. The Tarpans 
always die of ennui in a short time, if they do not 
break their own necks in resisting the will of man : t 

* I have seen South American horses extricate themselves 
in the same manner. 

t This assertion, as in other cases, is not consistent with 


they are, moreover, said to attack and destroy do- 
mestic horses ; they rise on their haunches in fight- 
ing, and bite furiously ; while the mixed races, 
though ready to bite, are more willing to strike out 
with their hind feet, and neither have ever been 
remarked lying down. In these particulars, the 
younger Gmelin, who likewise travelled in Eastern 
Russia, corroborates our account, and he does not 
appear to have come to the same conclusions as 
Forster or Pallas ; we may therefore infer, from 
what is here stated, that the foal observed by the 
last mentioned author, when he was on the Samara, 
opposite Sorotschinska, caught at Toskair Krepost, 
was of the mixed race, or not sufficiently grown to 
furnish a satisfactory representation. 

We made further inquiries respecting the resi- 
dence of the piebald race of ancient history, in 
High Asia, and found that a variety of this kind 
was deemed distinct from the Russian horses, and 
occasionally seen among the Tahtar and Ural do- 
mestic breeds, but differing from the Chinese and 
wild race " beyond the southern mountains," * in 
having their feet very generally dark, while the 
others have invariably Avhite limbs. Those within 
the frontier were said to be a breed belonging to the 

facts observed, if care be taken in the process of domestication ; 
it must be understood to mean that the wild horse resists, till 
death, the unceremonious forcible system of subjugation prac- 
tised by the natives. 

* I understood by tliat appellation, that the Cossack spoke 
relatively to his own position being north of the central chains 
of Asia. 


black Kalmucks, and we saw a few in the Russian 
irregular troops that may have been of this Kal- 
muck stock ; but the real piebald animal is kno^\^l 
by the names of Tang urn and Tannian^ from the 
Tangustan mountains of Bootan, although it is 
spread further along the north side of the Hima- 
laya range beyond Thibet. Father Georgi alludes 
to Tangums, when speaking of the wild horses, vari- 
ously coloured, which he saw on the banks of the 
Montza in his route to Lasha. D'Hobsonville was 
informed they were found on the borders of Thibet, 
and described not to be above ten or eleven hands 
high, tolerably well proportioned, active, fiery, witli 
the hair between four and five inches long, coloured 
in regular corresponding spots. The domesticated 
are also in general piebald, thirteen hands high, 
•deep chested, short bodied, with strong full quarters, 
robust limbs, and altogether remarkable for sym- 
metry, strength, and compactness ; it is a true 
mountain animal, very sure footed, very active, and 

"We have already noticed the earlier history of 
this form of horse down to the eighth century : in 
the seventh, the Arabian hero Zohara, a prisoner in 
the Persian camp, escaped upon a piebald horse, 
and was greatly instrumental in the Islam victory 
of Kadesia. The clouded horses of Turan are 
mentioned by Firdausi : other poets incidentally 
name them, and Mickhoud the Persian historian 
relates of the eighth Abasside Caliph, Motassem, 
" that he raised a mound at the time he was build- 


ing Samarali by means of 130,000 pied horses of his 
army, each conveying a sack of earth to the spot. It 
was on this mound, called Tel-al-Mekhali^ or the hill 
of sacks, that his son and successor Wathek built 
the famous tower." They are again mentioned in 
the Tahtar army under Peta Khan, when in 1241 
he broke through Hussia and Poland and defeated 
and slew Duke Henry II. of Silesia at AVahlstadt. 
They continue at present to exist in small breeds 
in Moldavia, Wallachia, Poland, and Pomerania, 
but are now only used to mount trumpeters and 
the bands of Hussar regiments, excepting in Italy, 
where the Borghese breed of pied horses is still in 
repute. It is reared near Rome, in the sandy pine 
district about ancient Ardea, the classical site of the 
exploits of Turnus and ^neas, and proves the dura- 
bility of the markings of this form of horse, since 
Virgil clearly alludes to it in the same locality : — 

" Turnus, 

Improvisus adest : maculis quern Tliracius albis 
Portat equus, " jEn. ix. 48. 

and the same breed was in the poet's mind when he 
describes the Trojan game as it was performed by 
the Roman youth : — 

" quern Thracius albis 

Portat equus bicolor maculis ; vestigia primi 
Alba i^edis, frontemque ostentans arduus albam. 

^N. V. 565. 

The great Roman poet shows, in other writings, as 
well as in the local legendary part of the ^Eneid, a 


profound knowledge of the Latin traditions ; and if 
their race of horses had been of late introduction, 
his judgment would have rejected making it the 
distinguishing character of the Ardean and Volscian 
horse. Since it has continued unimpaired from the 
beginning of the Roman empire to the present time, 
there is no reason to reject the belief that it was of 
sufficient antiquity to belong to the stock of centaur 
origin, and a companion of the Thraco-Pelasgian 
colonists, among whom Mares was the first eques- 
trian in Italy. 

Raphael, we have seen, displays his extensive in- 
formation when one of these horses is introduced in 
his Vatican fresco of Attila, and both Titian and 
Guido have immortalized them in their pictures of 
Aurora. * 

It is the most southern of all the original wild 
forms, and probably also the most ancient that 
invaded China; for on the square and perforated 
coins of a very ancient dynasty, the figure of a 
horse bearing the Tangum form is the distinguish- 
ing token, either of the family or of the value. It 
is less spirited and smaller in the southern pro- 
vinces of the empire, and there used for an ambling 
pony, as may be seen in Chinese paper-hangings, 
where the cultivation of rice-grounds and the super- 
intendence of tea-plantations is represented. On 
our Indian frontier it is the parent stock of the 

* They are noticed by the troubadour poets, and Guillaume 
de la Ferte', 1221, is figured Avith a pied horse, in stained glass, 
at Noire Dame de Chartres. 


Ghoonts reared in the vicinity of Kalunga ; and 
further westward, where it is probably more mixed, 
the mountain ponies of the Himalayas are more 
grey and the spots often small ; but in courage, 
activity, and sure-footedness they are admirable. 
The common neglected class of Afghaunistan and 
the Indian peninsula, usually called Yahoos^ attest 
by their not uncommon piebald livery that they are 
in a great proportion descended from the Parthian 
breed; and in the original battle-pictures of the 
wars of Aurungzebe, engraved about a century ago 
from Indian originals, we can trace the piebald 
horse among the chargers of the principal figures. 
We have been informed that, in the late wars, 
whole russoolaks, or corps of Pindarees, have been 
seen mounted upon this race. 

There are still other wild horses of Asia, such as 
the white woolly animal of the Kara Koom and 
the high table land of Pamere, * whence the Kir- 
guise and Kalmucks appear to have drawn one of 
their principal races. It is about fourteen hands 
high, with a large head, small eyes and cars, a thick 

* Pamere, with the Surikol lake in the centre, twelve days' 
journey across, gives birth to the Jaxartcs, the Oxus, and to a 
branch of the Indus : from the table land all the mountains in 
sight appear as under the feet ; there are no trees, but rich 
pasturage, never long covered by snow, because of the violent 
drift winds. The wild and domestic horses, and nearly all the 
mammifera), are clothed in long shaggy white furs. Kara Koom, 
comparatively low, is still higher than Ilindo Koosh and the 
plateau of Ladakh, 17,000 feet above the sea, where Dr. Gerrard 
met great droves of wild horses. 


muzzle, a short thin neck, joining the head at a 
considerable angle ; the mane is short and ragged, 
the tail not very abundant, the shoulder low and 
rather vertical, the limbs long, and the hoofs wide ; 
all the proportions hidden and deformed by a heavy 
bear-like fur, particularly under the jaws, where 
there is a considerable beard, not long, but extend- 
ing to the gullet : the colour is grisly white, some- 
what darker in summer, and the hair on the outside 
shining and hard, within soft and downy. The 
Kiang, which Mr. Moorcroft saw in great numbiers 
in the elevated deserts of Khoten, and described as 
different from the Ghoor Khur of Sinde, is in form 
more like an antelope, having a brilliant eye and 
great vivacity of movement, which the name Kiang 
(rushing) sufficiently explains. This animal stands 
about fourteen hands high, with a round muscular 
form, is probably again the wild stock of the Tan- 
gum ; but the Yo-to-tze, which we regard to be our 
Asinus equuleus^ intermediate between the horse and 
hemionus, like the former in shape and the latter 
in colour, is allied but not identical with the onager. 

These short notices show how defective our habits 
of superficial examination are, since no less than 
three species may be concealed under the name of 
Ghoor Khur, and as many in the more general term 
of wild horses. 

Turning to Africa and excluding from the pre- 
sent consideration the zebra group, we find the an- 
cients were still more liable to confound the real 
Equine animals, and depending upon reports of the 


natives to Include in their description of horses, spe- 
cies that can be only referred to ruminants. Con- 
fusion, thus created, was increased by Albertus 
Magnus, who finding in Oppian a true account of 
the onager and another of the hippagrus or equi- 
ferus of the Latin writers, coupled the two last 
names with the description of the first, and was 
followed by succeeding naturalists, excepting by 
Johnston, who finding the poet's hippagrus a brown 
bisulcate hornless animal of Ethiopia, caused a figure 
to be engraved from the description, according to 
which it is represented also with tusks and a mane 
extending the whole length of the spine. It is not 
easy to account for the refusal of Linnean compilers 
to place this supposed species by the side of Molina's 
Equus bisulcus, the Huemel of Patagonia, for both 
appear to be real species placed in a wrong order. 

The hippagrus, when reported to be solidungu- 
lated, may be our E. hippagrus ; and when stated to 
be bisulcate, is not a horse but a ruminant, probably 
the same which Mr. Riippel noticed by the name 
of Boura of Koldagi, and perhaps the Boryes of 
Herodotus, * as well as the Pegasus of Pliny, t 

* Boura of Koldagi, Ruppel. " A ruminant the size of an 
ass ; both sexes hornless, covered with dark browni bristly hair 
and having a long black mane on the neck, the legs brown- 
black ; the animal is fleet, and resides on the hills." Mr. 
Ruppel saw the skin of one at Cairo, and conjectures that it' is 
an undescribed species of Ovis. It may be also the Feshtall, 
but that fesli^ slightly modified, will admit of other explana- 
tions. See Herodotus, lib. iv. 

f See Griffith's Cuvier, Ruminantia. 


We shall see in the description of the koomrah how 
much the love of the marvellous may mislead the 
ignorant natives, and through them naturalists bet- 
ter informed than Oppian. The wild horses seen 
by Leo, Marmol, Struys, Bruce, and produced by 
the Emperor Gordian, may indeed be partly of 
feral origin, and the rest the species above noticed, 
or the wild ass, which is found along the White 
Nile as far as it has been discovered ; but no other 
wild Equus is described in Africa on this side of the 


Having endeavoured to show the real existence of 
wild horses on the soil where the unsubdued species 
must have roamed in freedom, and where at no 
time the enterprise of man can have entirely extir- 
pated them ; since it could not, even if the present 
races were feral, prevent their again multiplying and 
resuming the characters of aboriginal independence, 
is in itself, we think, sufficient proof to establish 
the argument : ^^e may therefore, after admitting a 
partial intermixture of the domestic species with 
<- the wild in Asia, take a view of those of America, 
where they were found in such prodigious numbers, 
shortly after the first settlements of the Spaniards, 
that it required the united testimony of the abori- 
ginals, and the evidence of the terror they at first 
excited, to establish the absolute credibility of their 
having been imported. In their appearance, more- 


over, they bore, and still bear, evident tokens of 
Spanish origin ; and in their manners, proofs that 
they were not wild, but only restored to freedom, 
or what we have called feral. In genial climates, 
with abundant herbaoe and few dangerous enemies 
to encounter, it was natural that animals of such 
power and intelligence should increase most rapidly ; 
and hence no surprise was expressed at finding them 
in abundance in St. Domingo and Cuba, within a 
century after they had been first imported. Cortez 
carried them to Mexico, * and Pizzaro to Peru ; the 
Portuguese to Brazil, and soon after the plains of 
the Pampas began to sw^arm with their numbers, t 
If it be true that at first only six were turned loose, 
there can be no doubt that many others from both 
sides of the southern part of the continent became 
free, and collectively that they acquired habits of 
self-preservation only in part like the real wild races 
of Asia; the time is not perhaps far distant, when 
they will be gi-adually again absorbed by domesti- 
cation, excepting those wdiich will retreat towards 
the tw^o poles ; and as the species is not restricted 

* Bernal diaz del Castillo. 

+ Dr. Rengger notes the first horses in ParagTiay to have 
been imported from Spain and the Canaries in 1537, and shows 
the error of Fmies (En Saya dc la Historia civil del Paraguay), 
who pretends that in the exploratory voyage of Irala, in 1 550, 
six hundred were conveyed to the country, since Azara found 
in the archives of Asuntion a document proving that Irala, in 
the year 1551, actually bought a Spanish horse for 15,000 
florins. " Naturgeschichte der Sauegethicre von Paraguay '' 
1 vol. 8vo. 


by the rigour of climate, but solely by tlie extent of 
available food, the wilds of Patagonia and the lati- 
tudes of the northern deserts will continue to main- 
tain them in freedom, and render them migratory 
like the deer and the bison of the same climate. 

Of the South American feral horses, none that 
we ourselves have possessed or seen, living, depicted, 
or described, had assumed the aspect or original 
colours of the wild species of Asia ; they all bore : 
the stamp of the domesticated races of Old Spain, 
with more or less modification ; and though the 
herds roaming in freedom are mostly of a similar 
livery, there are amongst them individuals of every 
shade and mixture of colours that exist in Europe; 
black, as far as our personal observations went, 
being rarest; modifications of grey perhaps the 
most abundant in the mountainous regions towards 
the Gulf of Mexico, and shades of bay in the Pam- 
pas. '^ Azara, the best qualified naturalist to express 
an opinion on this particular subject, estimates the 
proportion of bays (bay-brown) to be about ninety 
to ten zains, that is, entirely dark-coloured, without 
any white; black, there is not one in two thou- 
sand; pied and greys occur sometimes, but they, 
are invariably individuals escaped or left from do- 
mestic conditions. + Jet black, though very rare, 

* On the colours of Spanish horses, see " Eseucila do a 
Caballo," a translation from La Gneriniere, but with addi- 
tions by Don Baltazar de Trursun. 2 vols. 8vo. Madrid, 

f I'here is a race of starred skewbalds in Patagonia, an evi- 


is a true colour among the feral races ; and lie re- 
gards the bay, the dark, and the jet black as three 
typical liveries of the original wild animal, and in- 
fers that the first pair of horses was of one of these 
colours ; he then remarks that the black decreases 
or is liable to be effaced, next, the dark zain^ and 
therefore that bay-brown is the primitive colour. 
The statement of this able observer is nearly the 
same as our own, but we explain the effects in a 
different manner, in the conclusions already drawn ; 
namely, that the Spanish horse in general is of the 
bay stock imported by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, 
and other African tribes, including the Arab Mus- 
sulmen ; the black, a residue of the Yandalic im- 
portation, and thence most anciently the Andalus, 
that is. Vandal breed of the Moors ; the zain pro- 
bably an original race, or a residue of Roman intro- 
duction, which with the greys belonged to the 
mountains, and is now in the New World chiefly 
confined to mountainous regions ; hence the black 
being the fewest, must necessarily be absorbed un- 
less other causes intervene. 

"We have seen the Tarpans of Asia forming herds 
composed of minor families, but headed by a sul- 
tan-stallion, who guides the march and fights the 
battles of his subjects ; we know these instincts to 
be weaker in the mixed and feral troops of Asia, 
and find it still less evolved in America. Having 
in the West a greater abundance of food, they con- 
dent approximation to white, just as real pied horses are chance 
occurrences in England. 


gregate in tliousands, where the influence of a leader 
cannot act in a similar manner, or the stallions 
effect more than keeping some of their immediate 
family together, while of the larger felinae, the ja- 
guar and the puma only are dangerous to horses ; 
both being tree-climbing carnivora, they seldom 
roam far from the woods or venture on the plains, 
where the thunder of horses* hoofs is sufficiently 
terrific to frighten bolder animals ; and with regard 
to the red wolf, our Ckrysocyon juhatus^ he is soli- 
tary, and usually satisfied with much smaller prey ; 
hence, being more disturbed by man, and less obliged 
to watch predaceous animals, their instincts are less 
matured, their eyesight less piercing, and though 
by the qualities of their olfactory powers they can 
make the nicest distinctions, their nostrils do not 
detect the jaguar at a small distance. The im- 
pulses of fear they receive are always caused by the 
first stallion that happens to be impressed with dan- 
ger : if a carnivorous animal is detected, they crowd 
together, and then the stallions rush forward to 
trample him to death; but the mares strike out 
with the heels, and although they are more timid, 
do not evince the same fear at the sight of man; 
the males alone being chosen by him for service, 
and subject to the hardest usage ; they yet approach 
travellers, call to their captive brethren toiling un- 
der the weight of riders, then toss their heads, and, 
looking askance, canter away with their heads and 
tails raised ; while the mares, unconscious of dan- 
ger, look on with surprise at the jaded look of the 



passing strangers, and their foals run innocently up 
and start back with sudden apprehension. "' The 
males haAang but little cause for exercising their 
intellectual faculties, and being often captured, se- 
verely ridden, and then again restored to liberty, 
their wild instinct is more confused than fully de- 
veloped, and a tendency to obedience and domesti- 
cation remains impressed on tbeir tempers. There 
is, nevertheless, one trait in the character of the 
South American horses not now observed in Asia, 
though, probably, were the conditions similar, a 
similar effect might be expected : t we allude to a 
disposition of becoming frantic from thirst in the 
heated plains where water is rare, and then with 
the impetuosity of madness, when chance or instinct 
has at length conducted them to a pool or a river, 
rushing forward to the brink, trampling each other 
under foot, others sticking in the clay, and many 
forced into the water ; causing a destruction of their 
numbers exceeding belief. Thousands of skeletons 
are said to blanch the borders of some localities 
where they resort. Where, by the absence of a 
sufficient, antagonist power in a due proportion of 
great carnivora, it is perhaps justly remarked by 
the author of the treatise on the Horse, that " this 

* Sec Captain Head's graphical description in his Journey 
across the Pampas, 

't' In Mr. Buckingham's Travels there is a case of a caravan 
of men, horses, mules, and asses, under the influence of severe 
thirst, suddenly coming upon a river in the dark, and over- 
throwing each other, as each pushed his predecessor before 
him into the stream. 


is one of the means by which the too rapid increase 
of this quadruped is by the ordinance of Nature 
there prevented." 

North America likewise contains herds of feral 
horses; they are in form stout cobs, mostly bay, 
thouoh there are herds where black predominates ; 
they have considerable speed, and are very sure- 
footed. The herds belong exclusively to the prairie, 
avoiding mountains and woods. They were for- 
merly abundant in the Floridas, and still range 
through the open districts to California and the 
plains of the Columbia, but are not described with 
equal detail. In numbers they herd together per- 
haps still more considerable. 

In the description furnished by a recent traveller, 
the Hon. C. A. Murray, '" we are furnished with a 
picture of what he denominates a Stampedo, or pas- 
sage of these animals, surpassing in graphic spirit 
every account of wild horses upon record. " About 
an hour," he writes, " after the usual time to secure 
the horses for the night, an indistinct sound arose, 
like the muttering of distant thunder; as it ap- 
proached, it became mixed with the howling of all 
the dogs in the encampment, and with the shouts 
and yells of the Indians ; in coming nearer, it rose 
high above all these accompaniments, and resembled 
the lashing of a heavy surf upon a beach ; on and 
on it rolled towards us, and partly from my own 
hearing, partly from the hurried words and actions 
of the tenants of our lodge, I gathered it must be 
* Travels in North America, 2 vols. 


the fierce and uncontrolable gallop of thousands of 
panic-stricken horses : as this living torrent drew 
nigh, I sprang to the front of the tent, seized my 
favourite riding-mare, and in addition to the hobbles 
which confined her, twisted the long larielt round 
her fore legs, then led her immediately in front of 
the fire, hoping that the excited and maddened flood 
of horses would divide and pass on each side of it. 
As the galloping mass drew nigh, our horses began 
to snort, prick up their ears, then to tremble ; and 
when it burst upon us, they became completely un- 
governable from terror; all broke loose and joined 
their affrighted companions, except my mare, which 
struggled with the fury of a wild beast, and I only 
retained her by using all my strength, and at last 
throwing her on her side. On went the maddened 
troop, trampling, in their headlong speed, over skins, 
dried meat, &c., and throwing down some of the 
smaller tents. They were soon lost in the darkness 
of the night and in the wilds of the prairie, and 
nothing more was heard of them, save the distant 
yelping of the curs, who continued their ineffectual 
pursuit." These wild animals have produced the 
same effect upon the native savages which their 
similars have done in the south. In the latter por- 
tion of America, the Gosquis, Araucas, and Pata- 
gonian Indians have become riding tribes, as well 
as the Pawnees, Camanchees, and Ricarras in the 
former; all are nomad hordes of riders, only re- 
strained by the presence of European colonists from 
becoming the conquerors of their fellow red men. 


They have already acquired equestrian habits, as 
dexterous lancers and throwers of the lazzo and 
holas. Numerous superstitions exist among them 
which show a long familiarity with horses, and an 
opinion of the Ricarras, that the souls of horses will 
rise in judgment against unmerciful riders, does 
them honour. This ready departure from their an- 
tique habits, from the circumstance of horses being 
casually introduced to their observation, shows what 
must have occurred in the Old World among the 
primitive barbarous nations who had wild horses 
within their reach. As soon as one tribe could show 
the example of a successful experiment in the sub- 
jugation of the animal, others necessarily must have 
undertaken the same task; and those tribes that 
first accomplished it, immediately made the new 
instrument of power applicable to invade the others 
and commence the era of conquests. An indigenous 
possession of horses exhibits the further similarity in 
manners which result from it, for in both continents 
the Tahtar and the Patagonian feed upon the flesh, 
both do most of their common daily business on 
horseback, and, after death, both are laid in a tomb 
with the stuffed skins of their favourite animals set 
up around it. 

There remains one more form of feral or wild 
horse to notice, namely, that which is of question- 
able origin, and found independent on the island of 
Celebes. East of the Bramapootra, and south of 
tlie tropic, through all Indo- China, Malaya, and 
the great islands, horses are dwindled to very small 


ponies ; collectively they may be called Sarans, and 
although by some travellers they are considered 
indigenous, the antique navigation of the seas sur- 
rounding the Australian islands, in ships of suffi- 
cient burthen to convey horses, and the variety of 
colours we observe in the different breeds, seem to 
attest, that if Solipedes, along with the tiger and 
rhinoceros, were located upon them by the hand of 
Nature, domesticated races have mixed with them 
from very early times. We prefer to conjecture 
.that they were imported from opposite directions 
by the favour of each monsoon, and that the Chi- 
nese stock spread by Formosa or Haynan, Lu9on, 
the Philippine group, to the north-east coast of 
Borneo and Celebes, where the people, less civilized, 
permitted them to run feral, while the others of 
higher race came through Sumatra and Java, spread- 
ing eastward as far as Timor. 

Such is the result of a general review of the 
question relating to wild horses, and we believe the 
conclusions may be legitimately drawn : that of the 
existing herds in a state of nature in High Asia, 
some are not feral, but really wild ; that there was 
a period when Equidae of distinct forms, or closely 
approximating species, or races widely different, 
wandered in a wild state in separate regions, the 
residue of an anterior animal distribution, perhaps 
upon the great mountain line of Central Asia, where 
plateaux or table lands exceeding Armenian Ararat 
in elevation are still occupied by wild horses ; that 
of these some races still extant never have been en- 


tirely subdued, such, for example, as the Tarpans 
before noticed, the Kirguise and Pamere woolly 
white race, and the wild horses of Poland and 
Prussia before described ; that from their similarity 
or antecedent unity, they were constituted so as to 
be fusible into a common, single, specific, but very 
variable stock for the purposes of man, under whose 
fostering care a more perfect animal was bred from 
their mixture, than any of the preceding singly 
taken. These inferences appear to be supported by 
the ductility of all the secondary characters of wild 
and domestic horses, which, if they are not ad- 
mitted to constitute in some cases specific difi^erences, 
where are we to find those that are sufi&cient to dis- 
tinguish a wild from a domestic species? Since 
most wild animals, and certainly all Equid^, are 
placable in nonage ; else, why is the hemionus do- 
mesticated at Lucknow not considered feral ? Why 
is the onager or wild ass not claimed as a domestic 
animal merely escaped from bondage ? And with 
regard to different though osculating species, why 
should the conclusions be i unsatisfactory in horses, 
when in goats, sheep, wobes, dogs, and other spe- 
cies, we are forced to accjde to them ? How object 
to fusion, when species more remote, as in the case 
of the quagga and mare, leave such lasting impres- 
sions; and on the other hand, when we find the 
white and the black hide of horses bearing inde- 
lible coloured fiir, which crossing unceasingly only- 
masks but does not obliterate ? When we see the 
dun coloured form even now always middle-sized 


and along with an asinine streak on the back, in 
the purer breeds also marked with cross bars on 
the joints, sometimes on the shoulder: the light 
limbed races provided naturally with ewe necks, 
and the heavy with the cervical vertebrae more 
straight or arched: the raw-boned, large, broad- 
footed variety located in its own damp and wooded 
plains, and the small hardy cylindrical-footed ponies 
invariably belonging to rocky mountains : all these 
characters may be trivial, they may be called acci- 
dental, or the results of the usual explanations, 
food and climate, yet several evidently lie deeper 
in the nature of animal organization. Their aggre- 
gate importance is supported by the history of the 
ancient races, and appears adequate to confirm 
the presumption we contend for and have already 
drawn, when we compared the aboriginal races of 
the northern hemisphere with the striped group of 
the southern, both having probably an aberrant spe- 
cies on each side. 

We mean not, however, to infer that all large 
horses belong to low regions, or all the small to 
rocky sites ; numerous circumstances no doubt have 
disturbed the conditions of existence, and climate, 
food, and the fostering care of man, have had their 
legitimate influence. Albinism, though it affects 
horses like other animals, must not be confounded 
with natural greys, where round dappled marks 
show a particular tendency unconnected with a defi- 
ciency of colouring matter in the hair, and melanism 
is not perceptibly accidental. The main facts are 


not the less unimpaired, the bay, the dun, the 
dappled, the pied, and the black, still continue to 
form great races under the care of man ; and even 
the asinine marks, in token of some ancient direct 
adulteration, return when in the least excited, and 
show their spinal ray, their bars on the joints, and 
in some cases a cross on the shoulder ; all confirm- 
ing the probability that high-bred and frequently 
crossed races of the horse are the most artificial, 
and in the fonn we now have them, were never 
really wild. 



In the structure of the whole family, we find, 
among fossil remains, only slight differences in size 
and relative proportions ; and the teeth, from those 
of a large horse (which are exceedingly rare) vary, 
to some, with the crown obviously narrower than 
in the domestic races. Turning to the existing spe- 
cies, all have similar viscera, the same form of 
stomach, not adapted for rumination; they have, 
with perhaps one exception, the same number and 
structure of teeth ; that is, six incisors both above 
and below, one cuspidate on each side in both jaws, 
six molars above and the same number below on 
each side, making forty teeth in all. In the fe- 
males the cuspidates are not commonly observed. 
One species (the hemionus) is reported to have only 
thirty-four teeth, and another (the female dauw) 
may be furnished with a kind of udder and four 
mammje. * The whole family is distinguished from 
all other mammalia by the bones at the extremity 
* Capt. HaiTis's Sporting Expcclition in South Africa. 


of the feet being lodged in a single round hoof; they 
have all more or less mane on the neck ; the whole of 
their structure is remarkably strong and well ba- 
lanced, being in height at the shoulder and croup 
about equal to the length from the breast to the but- 
tock, and the head and neck comparatively lighter 
in proportion than in animals that bear horns; hence, 
above all other quadrupeds, the horse is the most sym- 
metrical for his stature ; the fleetest, the strongest, 
and the most endurino-; for, considering that his 
speed is always reckoned with the additional Aveight 
of a rider, that velocity which gives near a mile in 
a minute, and four miles in about six minutes and 
a half, '^ has been calculated to be at the rate of 
eighty-two feet and a half per second ; exceeding 
what a vigorous stag or the fleetest greyhound can 
achieve unencumbered by any extraneous Aveight. 
Such speed, with the powers of endurance, is surely 
superior to every other quadruped; for while we 
know what effect the difference of one or two pounds 
weight produces on the velocity of the pace of racers, 
horses will carry heavy riders and keep up with a 
running ostrich, overtake a stag, and toil at a gal- 
lop in the withering sun of the desert, over sixty 
or eighty miles without drawing bit. It is to the 
elasticity and form of structure, to the inclination 
of the shoulder, the width of the trunk giving play 
to the lungs, the breadth of the quarters, the vigour 
of the fore-arm, the consolidation of the feet into 
one ^oof, and the lightness of the head and neck, 
* Achieved by " Flying Cliilders." 


that we must chiefly refer these powers. In the 
wild ass, where we also find very gTeat speed, a 
vertical shoulder and low withers prevent additional 
weight being carried in a similar manner and with 
equal convenience. 

Equidae are essentially grazing animals, all are 
tempted by thistles, thorny shrubs, and brooms, 
but none of them digest their food so completely as 
not to leave the power of vegetation to many seeds, 
especially of gramineous plants and tritica that 
have passed through the stomach and are lodged in 
their dung ; while their fondness for brambles, and 
their active energy, tends to spread them over barren 
plains, where they are thus made agents for intro- 
ducing new plants, and gradually increasing the 
vegetation, prepare whole regions to support both 
vegetable and animal life in a multiplicity of forms 
previously impossible. * They are gregarious : in 
common with ruminants they see well in the dark, 
have the pupil rather elongated, the eyes being- 
placed far apart so as to enable them when the 
head is down to view objects with facility before 
and behind them, as well as sideways : the length 
of head and neck is nearly equal to their height, 
giving the power of cropping the herbage by means 
of their flexible lips and well-set nipping teeth, to 
accomplish which they are nevertheless obliged to 
throw one of the fore-legs forward and the other 

* In this manner the Pampas, towards the Straits of Magel- 
lan, are altering for the better, according to the observation of 
llx. BartJett. 


to the rear, "vvlille at the same time they straighten 
the line of the back : the ears are very moveable, 
independent of each other, conveying sound vrith 
facility from all directions: their sense of smell is 
very delicate : they sleep little ; in a wild state 
seldom or never lie down, and consequently have an 
individual security as well as the collective protec- 
tion of their gregarious habits ; most, however, pre- 
fer mountainous and rocky regions, and with trifling 
exception all keep out of cover. True horses resist 
the severest temperature, and can live in the coldest 
climates that will allow them to find food; and 
races or forms of them bear heat with nearly equal 
facility ; but in the two extremes somewhat of op- 
posite effects take place; for while in the north 
wild horses are not diminished in stature, the do- 
mestic become very small ; and in the south, the 
domestic rise above the common standard, while 
the so called wild are not more than ten hands at 
the shoulders. Notwithstanding the density of hide, 
the asinine section finds heat and barren regions 
genial, and cold insupportable beyond a certain lati- 
tude. The striped group likewise bears heat best, 
but is confined to a comparative small area. There 
is a great disparity of intelligence between all the 
wild species and the domestic horse, whose acts 
often display faculties nearly as elevated as those of 
a dog ; memory almost as tenacious, and a power of 
abstraction and comparison, a degree of benevolence, 
and a generosity of disposition, which, notwith- 
staudiug our common ruthless mode of educating 


them, often pierces through when least expected. 
Qualities of so elevated an order appear to be neces- 
sarily connected with greater irritability of nerve, 
and this sensitiveness is manifested in horses more 
than in other Equidte, their skins suffering so much 
from the stings of flies, that Nature, in order to en- 
able them to have leisure to feed and repose, has 
furnished their neck with a long mane, and the tail 
forms a sweeping brush which reaches every part 
of the body where the head cannot attain : they 
have moreover a quivering muscular action of the 
skin which impedes the tormenting power of insects, 
and both these means of defence are in proportion 
to the irritability of the species and to their degree 
of docility; for in the ass these are scarcely any, 
and in the dauw we may expect from the presence 
of them that placability is every way attainable. 

The period of copulation, the time of gestation, 
the number of offspring, the years of growth, the 
conditions of dentition, and the duration of life, are 
in all nearly alike, or differ only from local causes ; 
none appear to suffer convulsions from dentition ; 
all are in disposition gay, sociable, and emulous; 
even the ass has the instinct of trying his speed 
against competitors : the voice of all is sonorous, 
loud, but, excepting in the horse, exceedingly dis- 

In animals whose typical species is so well known, 
extended generalities are not necessary ; and among 
the more particular questions, considering the most 
important to belong to the veterinary science, to 


economical or to sporting pursuits, more than to 
natural history, we shall, with a few exceptions, 
noticed particularly in our remarks on the domestic 
horse, refrain from details which already abound in 
other publications avowedly Avritten for the purpose, 
and treating the questions at full length ; we can- 
not, however, refrain from offering to the reader two 
plates of the horse, one representing the skeleton of 
the animal, and the other the appearance of the ex- 
ternal muscles ; the former an example of the solid 
elegance of the frame, upon which the tendons and 
muscles act like levers ; the other a great surface of 
the muscles themselves, in their beautiful disposi- 
tion for effecting the manifold purposes they are 
destined to perform. To have numbered and named 
the many parts, would have led us into the veteri- 
nary science, foreign to our more immediate purpose, 
and to the extent we would here give details, readily 
found in every Eucyclopsedia and Hippiatric trea- 
tises, explanations must have proved unsatisfactory 
to the reader. 

For reasons already offered in the introductory 
pages of this volume, we divide the Linnssan genus 
Equus into three sections, whereof the first contains 
the Horses properly so called, the second the Asi- 
nine group as it was separated by Mr. Gray, with 
the exception of the South African striped species, 
which have characters sufficiently distinct to form a 



Equus cahallus^ Linn. 

In tliis section we place the true horses, wild and 
domesticated, whether or not they be sprung from 
several varieties, forms, or species, or constituted 
only one, ah mitio. They are distinguished by the 
mane being pendant and the tail furnished with long 
hair up to the root; the head is long; the ears 
short and pointed ; the withers somewhat elevated ; 
the shoulder oblique; they have callosities on the 
fore-arms and hind-canons ; the hoof round ; colours 
of the hair uniform, or clouded, or with a tendency 
to dappling ; the voice consists in neighing ; intel- 
lectual instinct naturally more developed than in 
the other species, though no doubt much perfected 
by long domestication. The wild have been al- 
ready described. 
We now proceed to 


Equus cahallus domesticus. 

In the domestic horse we behold an animal equally 
strong and beautiful, endowed with great docility 
and no less fire ; with size and endurance joined to 
sobriety, speed, and patience ; clean, companionable, 


emulous, even generous ; forbearing, yet impetu- 
ous ; with faculties susceptible of very considerable 
education, and perceptions which catch the spirit 
of man's intentions, lending his powers with the 
utmost readiness, and restraining them with as ready 
a compliance : saddled or in harness, labouring will- 
ingly; enjoying the sports of the field and exulting 
in the tumult of battle; used by mankind in the 
most laudable and necessary operations, and often 
the unconscious instrument of the most sanguinary 
passions : applauded, cherished, then neglected, and 
ultimately abandoned to the authority of bipeds, 
who often show little superiority of reason and much 
less of temper. One, who, like ourselves, has re- 
peatedly owed life to the exertions of his horse, in 
meeting a hostile shock, in swimming across streams, 
and in passing on the edge of elevated precipices, 
will feel with us, when contemplating the qualities 
of this most valuable animal, emotions of gratitude 
and affection, which others may not so readily ap- 

Mohammed, in his pretended inspiration, speak- 
ing of horses, makes the Almighty create them from 
a condensation of the south-west wind, which is a 
repetition of the Lusitanian fable ; but when he re- 
presents the Deity saying, " Thou shalt be for man a 
source of happiness and wealth ; thy back shall be a 
seat of honour, and thy belly of riches : every grain 
of barley given to thee shall purchase indulgence for 
the sinner !" he knew what people he addi^ssed. * 

* This is clearly tlie language of a keen judge of the feelings 



All domestic horses, as now constituted, we con- 
sider as cross breeds from ancient forms, of which 
we know at present only a few characteristics : all 
to a certain extent are improved breeds, though 
some have lost stature and others spirit; in most 
coimtries, nevertheless, they are adapted to the 
general wishes and wants of the communities. 
Varying from race to race, from individual to in- 
dividual, there is no absolute standard of beauty 
in a practical view, although there may be a maxi- 
mum of ideal beauty for the painter and sculptor, 
physically unattainable, and probably undesirable ; 
therefore, general qualities of health, age, sound- 
ness, structure, and temper, being admitted, the 
horse should be considered in relation to the par- 
ticular purposes it is bred for, and the social condi- 
tion and predominant desires of each nation. In 
Spain, the animal differs in outward appearance 
from an English race-horse; it is more curvilinear 
in outline, because this form is most graceful and 
adapted to cadenced steps and elegant curvettings , 
in England, its frame is more rectangular, best adap- 
ted for impelling the mass with velocity forward : 
the beauty of the first is not that of the second ; 
and while courtly notions of display were predo- 
minant on the continent, the Spanish horse was, and 
still is, considered the handsomer animal; though 

of his nation, and a further proof, if proof were wanting, that 
he had to deal with men in full possession of horses liighly 
valued ; — and true enough, horses have been the source of ho- 
nours, and are a source of wealth to the Arabs. 


the endurance and speed of the English horse, after 
generations of disparagement, is at length, though 
unwillingly, admitted; and to obtain horses simi- 
larly constituted is an evident desire of many, 
who with amusing circumlocutions endeavour to 
stave off the unpalatable truth of their undeniable 
superiority. Comparing the blood-horse with the 
mag-nificent cart-horses of England, we find even 
greater difference in their respective beauties, and 
yet neither the racer nor the last mentioned pos- 
sess the characters best suited for a war-horse, 
nor for the road and other mixed purposes ; hence 
beauty in horses is a relative term, and .must de- 
pend upon modifications adapted for particular pur- 

A horse of the usual standard is now considered 
to attain the height of fifteen or fifteen hands and 
a half. In the east of Europe they range usually 
from below fourteen to fifteen hands. The gestation 
of mares lasts about eleven months, though some- 
times the time is less by thirty-five days, and at 
others extended to forty-one or forty-two days be- 
yond it ; and foals are bom usually in April and 
May. They see and have the use of their limbs 
shortly after birth, they are then short-bodied and 
short-necked animals, and very high on the legs; 
they are frolicsome and sport about the mother, 
scratching their own ears with the hind-legs, and 
astonishing the stallion, if perchance he can ap- 
proach, for the gambols of the colt set him on his 
mettle, his crest rises, his tail is flung up, he snorts 



and gallops about in exceeding wonderment, and 
with marked signs of pleasure. 

The foal at birth is usually already furnished 
with the first and second molars cut through the 
gum, and in little more than a week shows the 
two middle nippers or incisor teeth in both jaws, 
and after five weeks more the two next and also a 
third grinder: about the eighth month the third 

pair of incisors above and below are cut, and then 
the front of tlie mouth is full. The enamel on 
these teeth is hard and thick, forming forward a 
swelling above the edge which remains sharp, and 
within or bebind the edge the surface is depressed 
and becomes dark, which constitutes the mark or 


■evidence whereby the age of a colt or horse is de- 
termined. At the end of a year the fourth grinder 
appears above and below, and the fifth at the end 
of the second year, and then the first dentition is 
complete. When three years old, the central nip- 
pers in both jaws make room for a larger pair in 
each, and are the first of the permanent set; six 
months after, a second pair extrude the former on 
each side of the first permanent ; and at four and a 

half the last set will be supplied, all distinctly 
bearino: the mark : at five this mark begins to be 
effaced by the wearing of the two first pair, and 
the tushes or cuspidate teeth are exposed, leaving a 


space between the nippers, and approaching nearer 
to the grinders ; at six years old the central nippers 
are without a mark, or nearly so : at seven, in the 
next pair, it likewise disappears ; and at eight, all 
the cutting teeth have lost their black stain and 
hollow. * 

A full grown horse, notwithstanding the diflPerent 
purposes he may be intended for, is required to 
possess some general qualifications in order to be 
valuable : the head should be middle sized, well set 
on, with the branches of the lower jaw sufficiently 
separated to give the head liberty of action; the 
eyes large and rather prominent; the ear small, erect, 
lively ; the nostrils open, not fleshy ; the neck long, 
with little curve along the gullet, but arched on 
the crest ; full below, slender near the head ; the 
withers somewhat high, and the shoulder slanting 
backwards, but more vertical in proportion as the 
animal is destined for draught; the chest should 
be capacious, deeper in horses for speed, rounder for 
others ; the arm muscular, the canon bones forward, 
flat and short; the loins broad and the quarters 
long ; the thigh muscular, the calcis high, and the 
whole hock well bent under the horse. It is in the 

* These are the marks for estimating the age of the hors« 
till the animal is deemed old ; and it may be proper to add, 
that there are further tokens taken from the tushes, «&c. The 
age of a horse is always calculated from the first of May, and 
there is considerable difference in the marks between stabled 
horses, crib-biters, and animals usually at grass. For an ad- 
mirable account of these questions, we refer to the history of 
" The Horse," before quoted. 


structure of the bones of the hind quarters that the 
principal characteristics of high bred horses are de- 
tected, and the straight horizontal line of the croup 
gives those attached to the pelvis greater length, 
and. consequently greater angles ; whence the power 
of throwing the weight forward is chiefly derived. 
This explains the cause of the velocity of English 
thorough bred horses being so superior to those 
whose croups are round and the tail set on low. 

From the different' colours of the original stocks, 
horses are clothed in a greater diversity of liveries 
than any other animals, cattle and dogs not ex- 
cepted; they are a natural consequence of inter- 
minable crossings of the five great stirpes already 
mentioned, producing combinations which have 
caused French and Spanish writers to enumerate 
above sixty : the piebald and dappled find only 
their counterparts in the forms and shades of colour 
in some species of seals, and it is there also we find 
the light blue greys with brown spots, of which we 
have examples in the New Forest and in Spain : 
yet excepting the five primitive, all the rest have a 
tendency to return to them, and sometimes it would 
seem capriciously to resume the bay, dun, grey, or 

We have seen the Romans believing in the 
superior advantages of certain coloured horses in 
hunting each particular kind of game, over others 
diflfering in that particular. The Arabs probably 
had superstitious notions of the same kind, for 
Moliammed has shown himself a dupe to these 


prejudices, and confirmed them among his be- 
lievers, by asserting " that prosperity is with sorrel 
horses," that certain white marks on the head are 
advantageous, and others, on the legs, signs of ill 
luck. Although in Europe we are by no means in 
want of mysteries in the stable, the proverb, that 
" Every good horse is of a good colour," is luckily 
well established; but there was a time, and that 
even not long since, when similar absurdities were 
believed and gravely set down by learned writers. 

The life of horses extends naturally from twenty- 
five to thirty }ears; cases have occurred of indivi- 
duals attaining tlie age of more than forty ; and in 
countries where they are not tasked by constant over 
exertion, the period of existence is usually between 
nineteen and twenty-one. But in England the 
destruction of these noble animals is excessive : the 
value of time with a commercial people, incessantly 
urged into activity both mental and corporeal, has 
demanded rapidity of communication, and spread an 
universal taste for going fast ; the fine roads have 
permitted horses to be subjected to more than they 
can draw ; betting, racing, and hunting are pursued 
by persons whose animals are not constructed for 
such exertions, and violent usage in grooms, stable- 
boys, and farm-servants is so common, that few 
reach the age of fifteen years, and all are truly 
old at ten. Were statistics directed to the relative 
length of life of horses between Germany, Belgium, 
and England, the comparison would show an enor- 
mous difference against us, and the mischief can be 


only partially remedied by an effective society for 
preventing cruelty to animals ; such as we find em- 
bodied in the skill of our civil engineers, who have 
given a regulated velocity to iron surpassing the 
powers of the Avhip, and railroads and steam- ships, 
will effect more for the relief of horses than all 
the remonstrances of humanity. 

In the structure of the horse, mares are always 
comparatively lower at the withers than geldings or 
stallions ; these last have the neck much fuller than 
either of the above, their spirit is also much more 
noisy, and their disposition, when they meet at 
liberty, exceedingly pugnacious : they are even dan- 
gerous when ridden ; so that where they are com- 
monly used for the saddle, as, for instance, in India, 
two horsemen cannot venture to ride side by side 
without constant attention, and always at some 
distance asunder. A striking example of the fierce- 
ness of stallions occurred, we are informed, during 
the last war, when the Marquess de la Romana 
made his celebrated march towards the Baltic, 
where, by the celerity of the movement, he distanced 
the pursuing enemies and embarked his corps in 
transports ; the cavalry, mounted on stallions, as is 
usual in Spain, was obliged to abandon their horses 
on the beach, where they had just arrived after ex- 
cessive forced marches, yet no sooner were the horses 
sensible that they were out of human controul, than 
rushing together in wild troops, they galloped head- 
long up and down, and then attacked each other 
with such fury, that it was believed a great number 


were killed, and nearly all were rendered useless. 
The case was very different with the English troop- 
horses (all geldings) when Sir John Moore's corps 
emharked after the battle of Corunna : orders having* 
been issued to shoot them, they witnessing their 
companions fall one after another, stood trembling 
with fear, and by their piteous looks seemed to 
implore mercy from men who had been their 
riders; till the duty imposed upon the dragoons 
entrusted wdth the execution of the order be- 
came unbearable, and the men turned away from 
the task with scalding tears : hence the French 
obtained a considerable number unhurt, and among 
them several belonging to officers, who, rather than 
destroy, had left their faithful chargers with billets 
attached, recommending them to the kindness of 
the enemy.* 

It is asserted that horses with a broad after-head 
and the ears far asunder are naturally bolder than 
those whose head is narrow above the fore-lock ; 
some are certainly more daring by nature than 
others, and judicious training in most cases makes 
them sufficiently stanch. Some, habituated to war, 
will drop their head, pick at grass in the midst of 
fire, smoke, and the roar of cannon ; others never 
entirely cast off their natural timidity. We have 
witnessed them groaning, or endeavouring to lie 
down when they found escape impossible, at the 

* The King's German Hussars alone brought off their horses, 
in consequence of being ordered to march by Vigo, where they 
Lad time to embark the whole unmolested. 


fearful sound of shot, shrapnel-shells, and rockets ; 
and it is most painful to witness their look of ter- 
ror in hattle, and groans upon being wounded. Yet 
many of the terrified animals, when let loose at a 
charge, dash forward in a kind of desperation that 
makes it difficult to hold them in hand; and we 
recollect at a charge, in 1794, when the light dra- 
goon troop-horse was larger than at present, and 
the French were wretchedly mounted, a party of 
British bursting through a hostile squadron as they 
would have passed through a fence of rushes. 

Horses have a very good memory ; in the darkest 
nights they will find their way homeward, if they 
have but once passed over the same road. They 
remember kind treatment, as was manifest in a 
charger that had been two years our own; this 
animal had been left with the army, and was brought 
back and sold in London : about three years after, 
we chanced to travel up to town, and at a relay, 
getting out of the mail, the off- wheel horse attracted 
our attention, and upon going near to examine it 
with more care, we found the animal recognizing 
its former master, and testifying satisfaction by 
rubbing its head against our clothes, and making 
every moment a little stamp with the fore-feet, till 
the coachman asked if the horse was not an ac- 
quaintance. We remember a beautiful and most 
powerful charger belonging to a friend, then a cap- 
tain in the 14th dragoons, bought by him in Ireland 
at a comparative low price, on account of an im- 
petuous viciousness, which had cost the life of one 


or two grooms : the captain * was a kind of Cen- 
taur rider, not to be flung by the most violent ef- 
forts, and of a temper for gentleness that would 
effect a cure, if vice were curable : after some very- 
dangerous combats with his horse, the animal was 
subdued, and it became so attached, that his master 
could walk any where with him folio wing like a 
dog, and even ladies mount him with perfect safety. 
He rode him during several campaigns in Spain, and 
on one occasion where, in action, horse and rider 
came headlong- to the ground, the animal making 
an effort to spring up, placed his fore-f )ot on the 
captain's breast, but immediately withdrawing it, 
rose without hurting him, or moving, until he was 
remounted. When we saw him he was already 
old, but his gentleness remained perfectly unaltered ; 
yet his powers Avere such, that we witnessed his 
leaping across a hollow road from bank to bank, 
a cartway being beneath, and leaping back without 
apparent effort. 

We all know to what extent horses may be edu- 
cated to perform a variety of tricks, appear dead, 
simulate fear or rage. There is an instance on re- 
cord of a rider breaking his leg in a fall, with the 
limb entangled in the stirrup, and his horse assisting 
him in getting it out. We see them constantly 
walk of themselves to their places in the relays of 
coaches. Their love of a well known home is 
equally established, there being cases where they 

* Major Anderson. We know not if this gallant and amiable 
man ia still alive. 


have swam broad and rapid rivers to return to it. 
The Aiahs all insist upon the truth, that their horses 
or mares, when sleeping abroad in the open desert, 
will wake them on the approach of an enemy or of 
a beast of prey : their gentleness may be witnessed 
in the Bedoueen tent, where mare, foal, and children 
all sleep and play together, without the least fear of 
accident. The mutual attachment known to subsist 
between the Northern Germans and their horses, 
may be ascribed in a great measure to the structure 
of the farm-houses, where the heads of cattle and 
horses are turned towards the threshing-floor, at the 
top of which the family usually resides, and has the 
kitchen hearth; the animals being able to see all 
that passes, are more familiarized, and comprehend 
the doings of human beings better ; and these, by 
being constantly in the presence of the domestic 
animals, have their eyes upon them, and learn to 
treat them more with a feeling of companions, than 
that of brutes, fit only to cudgel and to command 
with curses. 

In submission to a master, the horse is affected 
by kind treatment almost as much as the dog and 
elephant ; for although habitually his actions show 
timidity, they are more an effect of good temper 
than fear, for where severity is unreasonably exer- 
cised, obedience readily granted to kind treatment 
becomes doubtful, and sooner or later breaks out 
in vicious resentment and opposition : a horse knows 
his own strength, and oppression has its limits. In 
emulation to surpass a rival, no more convincing 


instance can be cited than in the case of a race- 
horse finding his competitor begin to head him in 
the course, seizing him by the fore-leg with such 
firm teeth, that both jockeys were obliged to dis- 
mount to part them.* 

But the confidence of a horse in a firm rider 
and his own courage is great, as was conspicuously 
evinced in the case of an Arab possessed by the late 
Gen. Sir Robert R. Gillespie, who being present on 
the race-course of Calcutta, during one of the great 
Hindu festivals, when several hundred thousand 
people may be assembled to witness all kinds of 
shows, was suddenly alarmed by the shrieks of the 
crowd, and informed that a tiger had escaped from 
his keepers ; the colonel immediately called for his 
horse, and grasping a boar-spear, which was in the 
hands of one among the crowd, rode to attack this 
formidable enemy : the tiger probably was amazed 
at finding himself in the middle of such a number 
of shrinking beings, flying from him in all directions, 
but tlie moment he perceived Sir Robert, he crouched 
with the attitude of preparing to spring at him, and 
that instant the gallant soldier passed his horse in 
a leap over the tiger's back, and struck the spear 
through his spine. The horse was a small grey, 
afterwards sent home by him a present to the Prince 
Regent. When Sir Robert fell at the storming of 

* This was a horse of Mr. Quin's, in 1753. Forester, ano- 
ther racer, caught his antagonist by the jaw to hold him back. 
Surely such animals should not be gored or cut with the whip 
to do their utmost. 


Kalunga, his favourite black charger bred at the 
Cape of Good Hope, and carried by him to India, 
was at the sale of his effects competed for by several 
officers of his division, and j&nally knocked down to 
the privates of the 8th dragoons, who contributed 
their prize-money to the amount of £ 500 sterling, 
to retain this commemoration of their late com- 
mander. Thus the charger was always led at the 
head of the regiment on a march, and at the station 
of Cawnpore was usually indulged with taking his 
ancient post at the colour-stand, where the salute of 
passing squadrons was given at drill and on reviews. 
When the regiment was ordered home, the funds 
of the privates running low, he was bought for the 
same sum by a relative of ours, who provided funds 
and a paddock for him, where he might end his 
days in comfort ; but when the corps had marched, 
and the sound of trumpet had departed, he refused 
to eat, and on the first opportunity, being led out to 
exercise, he broke from his groom, and galloping 
to his ancient station on the parade, after neighing 
aloud, dropped doAvn and died. 

All these intellectual and moral qualities vary 
in horses as much as the physical ; for spirit and 
daring is not more universal than timidity and 
cowardice ; memory, prudence, aptitude in some, 
heedlessness, stupidity, and obstinacy in others. 
These distinctions are not always individual, but 
commonly generical, and propagated with the other 
character of races and breeds, enter in the composi- 
tion of the original forms of each stock ; and it will 


be found in treating of them, that the most beauti- 
ful and noble is also the most gentle and most 

Anecdotes replete with interest might be com- 
piled on the subject of the horse, sufficient to fill 
volumes, but they are more the theme of sporting 
works than fit for Natural History, where they are 
only proper as examples to illustrate facts. 

We shall now proceed to give a summary of the 
principal breeds of horses, such as they are known 
at present to be established in different parts of the 
world, entering occasionally into details, where the 
race under consideration demands more particular 


From the tenor of the foregoing pages, it is a natu- 
ral consequence to treat of the races of horses in 
accordance with the views therein expressed ; con- 
sequently, while we keep their original stock as a 
guiding mark, we shall endeavour to class them 
according as they are known, or appear to belong 
to one or the other of their more primitive forms : 
the bay, the grey, the dun, the sooty or black, and 
the piebald. Although, through constant inter- 
mixture and the lapse of ages, it might be expected 
there would be no sufficient traces to mark them 
out, we shall find, with due allowance for the effect 
of such powerful agents, that they are still in gene- 


ral sufficiently distinct, even in countries where 
great races of difiPerent origin exist, as is quite ob- 
vious in Great Britain, where we have at least 
three that still retain their pristine characteristics. 
Some there will be found of unascertainable origin, 
but when they are likewise considered in the geo- 
graphical spaces they occupy, and with relation to 
the nations that have traversed them, or still reside 
within their limits, we shall at least have approxi- 
mating data for our purpose. Beginning with the 
most ancient domesticated race of Western Asia 
and Egypt, we find 


w^hich, celebrated in early antiquity, and then unno- 
ticed for some ages, recovered its pristine celebrity 
from the date of the hegira, and with the Islam 
conquests spread again towards the east till it 
reached the Bramaputra; came westward through 
Barbary to Spain ; is now established in England ; 
in South and North America ; and is fast rising into 
importance in Australia. Like the Caucassian race 
of man, it is the variety of horse which gradually 
either obliterates all the others or assumes an indis- 
putable pre-eminence, for from that source the most 
beautiful and the best horses in existence are de- 
rived. Although the stock is reared into its superior 
characteristics by education and human interven- 
tion, it seems more naturally confined in pre-emi- 
nence within the twentieth and thirty-sixth degrees 



of northern latitude, and from the fifth to the sixtieth 
of east longitude, where the thermometer is seldom 
below 50 in the night, or 80 in the day, though 
often as high as 120 of Fahrenheit. This stock has 
a black or slate-coloured hide, darkest in the white 
or grey varieties ; the ears are small, the forehead 
broad and flat, the limbs always light, and the mane 
and tail not superabundant. Its ancient history we 
have already sufficiently noticed to the period of the 
Arabian conquests, and now have to enter more par- 
ticularly on a few details on the present condition of 

PLATE Vlir. 

It is the most artificial, the first of hiorh-bred 
horses, and the parent of the noblest breeds in every 
part of the world : a race of great intermixture, but 
for ages in the care of attentive and skilful breeders, 
and under the influence of circumstances favourable 
to the attainment of the greatest perfection. Al- 
though the bay colour, of all others, seems the most 
inclined to pass into albinism, yet there are traces 
that the white or rather grey race was early and 
largely mixed with it ; for it is in those two that 
the dappled or pommeled marks peculiar to horses 
are alone perceptible ; and admitting the high irri- 
tability of their intellectual instincts, wliich clearly 
affect the markings upon horses, it does not appear 
that real changes of colour can be ascribed to a dif- 
ferent cause than what results from inter-union with 


different and other fomis or races. * In this view 
the Arabian blood is much mixed, for we find reck- 
oned in the colours of the race : ahmar, or clear 
bay ; adhem^ brown bay ; ashekwar^ sorrel ; ahiad^ 
white; azrek^ pure grey; raktha^ mottle grey; 
akdar^ blue grey; udhem^ black brown; ulmar 
muruk, dark chestnut; and Mohammed himself 
mentions aswad, or black, which, however, is not 
recognised, nor ashebad, light chestnut, as real Ara- 
bian colours. Green, indeed, occurs in the national 
writers, which seems to denote what we call sallow, 
but it does not appear that there is any breed of 
the kind, or it is an occasional kadeschi. It is evi- 
dent the whole of the true Arabian horses are refer- 
rible to the bay and the grey, with perhaps a slight 
addition of a Toorkee black race. The perfection of 
the bay blood is no doubt due to the Arabs, and 
particularly to the period when their princes, in 
the career of conquest, became more enlightened, 
sagacious, and wealthy than they could have been 
while they were the mere tenants of their tents. 
Even now, when for some centuries they have con- 
tinued to breed, nearly without exception, from 
their own perfected studs, they produce horses un- 
equalled in form, with fine bone, firm horny legs, 
limbs small yet hard, muscle sinewy and elastic, 
and all the parts free from vascular superabundance 
and unnecessary weight ; though the breast may be 
deemed narrow, the barrel expands, the head, small 

* Albinism would produce white, or flea-bitten, or sorrel 
liorses, but does not afford the round dapples and black legs. 


and square, is admirably placed, the eyes large ard 
brilliant, the ears small and pointed, and the tail 
well set on ; even the prominence of the blood-ves- 
sels beneath the skin attest high breeding; and 
although the Arab is rather small and English 
horses are decidedly fleeter, none are more graceful, 
more enduring, or fitter for war and privation. It 
may be doubted whether these noble races are not 
now in a state of gradual decline in their native 
country, but all have been and still are subjected to 
the same vigilant system of care and to the condi- 
tions of life inseparable from the climate and barren 
soil of the regions where they flourish ; they have 
been educated in the society of man, used to artifi- 
cial food not intended for them by nature, such as 
camels' milk and bruised dates ; inured to sobriety, 
even in the quantity of water ; but watched, pro- 
tected, and caressed by a people imperatively called 
upon to consider them as the only source of riches, 
the chief agent of national glory, the principal com- 
panion in daily enjoyments, and the sole instrument 
of independence. Hence the most hardy breeds are 
precisely those of the wandering tribes, and also the 
most docile, because, while the mares have young 
foals, they partake of the comforts of the tent, and 
horses are always treated with afl'ection ; excepting 
Avhen the first great trial of their capabilities is 
made ; then, indeed, the treatment the young ani- 
mal suffers is more severe than any horse is liable 
to in Europe : for, being led out, as yet totally un- 
conscious of a rider, the owner springs on its back 


and starts off at a gallop, pushed to the highest 
speed, across plains and rocks, for fifty or sixty 
miles without drawing bit ; then, before dismount- 
ing, he plunges into deep water with his horse, 
and, on returning to land, offers it food ; judgment 
of its qualities depending upon the animal immedi- 
ately beginning to eat. This treatment is more 
particularly inflicted upon fillies, because the Be- 
douin rides for his own use only mares, who are in 
truth more patient and durable than stallions, and 
never betray the marauder by neighing ; whereas, 
if stallions are present, this certainly occurs, and 
therefore these are kept for breeding, sold at high 
prices, or used by grandees and chiefs who reside in 
fixed habitations and towns. 

Habitually in company with mankind, all the 
Arabian breeds become exceedingly gentle and in- 
telligent ; a look or a gesture is sufficient to make 
them stop, take up with their teeth the rider's 
jereed or any other object he may have dropped, 
stand by him if he has fallen off their backs, come 
to his call, and fight resolutely in his defence ; even 
if he be sleeping, they will rouse him in cases of 
danger. Kindness and forbearance towards animals 
is inculcated by the Koran and practised by all 
Mussulmen, to the shame of Christians, who often 
do not think this a part of human duty ; and as a 
Moor well known in London sneeringly remarked 
to ourselves, " It is not in your Book !" 

As the Arabian blood is now extended, we must 
take in some measure the whole of South-western 



Asia khd the northern half of Africa, as within its 
limits, and refer to the local reports of the com- 
parative qualities of the principal breeds, as they 
are estimated to depend upon native countries. In 
this view, the Nejed claims the noblest; Hedjas, 
the handsomest ; Yemen, the most durable ; Syria, 
the richest in colour; Mesopotamia, the gentlest; 
Egypt, the swiftest; Barbary, the most prolific; 
and Persia and Koordistan, the most warlike. We 
have here at least the general claim of this ex- 
tended geographical range for Arabian horses main- 
tained as it was more anciently, when they were 
called Persian or Egyptian. 

There is apparently some confusion in the accounts 
of travellers in the collective denomination of Ko- 
hayl and Kochlani given to horses by the Arabs, 
the last mentioned being only a slight mutation of 
one of the many names of the Kulan, w41d ass, or 
rather the Ghurkhar, shows probably the origin of 
the mistake about wild horses being found in Ara- 
bia, and also the probability that the two animals 
just mentioned are not considered to be identical by 
the Arabs. 

The term Kohayl, or Kohelga, embraces col- 
lectively the races denominated Attechi, not much 
valued, and said to be occasionally feral ; next the 
Kadeschi, or horses of improved blood ; and last, 
the Kochlani, whose genealogy, is kept with rigor- 
ous care ; their descent from high-bred studs being 
capable of proof for many generations, and claiming, 
in oriental grandiloquence, a lineal ancestry to the 


time of King Solomon, and even older. There are, 
however, diiferent opinions expressed by native 
writers on this head : one asserts the highest breed 
proceeds from the stallion Zad-el-rakeb and the mare 
Sherdat Shekban, both the property of Muthaym 
ibn Oshaim, chief of the primitive Arabian tribe 
of Yemen : others that Mashour, stallion of Okrar, 
chief of the Beni Obeide, was sire of the noblest 
breeds ; while the more pious Arabs claim the five 
most renowned races for lineal descendants of Rhab- 
da, Noorna, Waya, Sabha, and Hesma, the five 
favourite mares of their prophet. There can be no 
doubt that Mohammed, although no connoisseur, 
was well mounted ; and it would not have been a 
token of great fanaticism in his followers to value 
descendants from his stud.* It is likely, therefore, 
that some truth may be attached to the claim ; but 
at present the five recognised great races are deno- 
minated Tauwejce, Monakye, Kohayl, Saklawye, 
and Gulfe or Julfa : the names of studs derived from 
the two first mentioned we have not found detailed, 
but the third or Kohayl reckon among others of 
renown the Aguz, Kerda, Sheikha, Dubbah ibn 
Kurysha, Kumeyseh, and Abu Moaraff": the Sak- 
lawye have the Jedran, Abriyeh, and Nemh el 
Subh; and the Julfa has the Estemblath. There 

* Had he been one of a riding tribe, the world would have 
heard of a mystical mare ; but being a camel-driver, he only 
dreamed of the Borak, that mysterious camel which carried 
him .up to the third heaven, and the object of profoimd discus- 
sions among the Ulema, as to whether it was red or white. 


are, besides, breeds of inferior consideration, such 
as the Henaydi, Abu Arkab, Abayan, Sheraki, 
Shueyraan, Hadaba, Wedna, Medhemeh, Khabithn, 
Omeriah, and Sadathukan. Indeed, an old Arabic 
MS. enumerates one hundred and thirty-six breeds 
of Arabia, three Persian, nine Turkoman, and seven 
Koordish ; and mentions the Safened race to have 
been presented by the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, 
which is at least a proof that it is of very ancient 
estimation. * But it is evident, from the somewhat 
conflicting claims of superiority concerning the seve- 
ral breeds^ that European statements depend upon 
authorities varying according to the tribe or the 
part of the country where they have been obtained, 
or purchased horses; we have, as such, the first 
Arabian of the Monaki breed sent to England by 
Mr. Usgate, British consul at Acre, who in 1722 
produced with the animal an affidavit of pedigree 
regularly attested before the Kadi. M. Rosetti 
claims the very first rank for the Saklawye race, 
distinguished for very long necks and brilliant eyes. 
Count Rzewusky vaunts the Kohlan as the first 
breed, which seems merely to assert that thorough 
bred horses are the best; for by Kochlani others 

* D'Herbelot notices Kamel el Sanateym, a treatise on far- 
riery, wherein are found mentioned several of the above remarks. 
For most of the details concerning Eastern horses, it will be 
observed that we are indebted to Malcolm, Elphinstone, Frazer 
Bums, Connolly, Moorcroft, and the two Gerrards ; for other 
particulars, to relatives and friends who have long resided in 


understand the first class of horses collectively, in- 
cluding many breeds: the Count, however, pur- 
chased three animals of this class, and vouches for 
the wonderful properties ascribed to them : tem.per, 
faithfulness, sagacity, courage, fierceness, &c. ; he 
affects even to believe that they know when they 
are sold, not granting implicit obedience until they 
have been duly transferred with the presentation of 
bread and salt to a new master. There are among 
those studs many whose pedigrees ascend through 
numerous generations of the noblest blood, perfectly 
well attested ; and some even, it is asserted, to a 
period of four hundred years. In the market there 
are, however, only stallions ; mares they justly re- 
gard as of greater importance in breeding than is 
thought in Europe, and therefore it is held so un- 
lawful to part with any, that very rarely they can 
be obtained by purchase. It is even considered a 
crime to sell one under any circumstances ; and in 
proof of the resolute opposition to the practice, we 
were assured of a case that lately occurred in Cal- 
cutta, where some Arabian dealers had sold their 
horses, and in consequence of a lieavy bribe one was 
induced to part with his mare. Some weeks after, 
when the dealers had already gone homeward, the 
senior of the party was observed to have returned 
to the city, a distance of several hundred miles ; he 
lurked about for some days ; subsequently it was 
discovered that he had inquired for the stables where 
the mare was kept : — she was found poisoned, and 
he had disappeared ! 


Towards the end of the last century, full-grown 
unblemished stallions of the several breeds stood 
somewhat in the following ratio of value: — The 
Oel-Nagdi^ reared in the vicinity of Bussora, beau- 
tiful, docile, and swift, either dark bay or dapple 
gre}^, and remarkable for attachment to their owners, 
stood foremost in estimation, and were valued at 
eight thousand piastres : a mare sold at Acre for 
the enormous sum of fifteen thousand piastres. 

The GueJfe, originally from Yemen, patient, in- 
defatigable, and gentle, were held to be most valu- 
able, selling at four thousand piastres. 

The SaJclaicye^ bred in the Eastern desert, with 
more speed and hardier constitutions, were of the 
same price. * 

The Oel-MefU of the Damascus district, stately 
and superb in aspect, but less durable, were esti- 
mated at three thousand piastres, and chiefly used 
by the Turkish grandees. 

The Oel-Sahi resemble the last mentioned, but 
are not so highly valued, their price ranging be- 
tween twelve hundred and two thousand piastres. 

The Oel-Tredi are very handsome, but with less 
courage, more inclined to restiveness, and hence 
might be obtained for nine hundred or a thousand 

The Monaki and Shaduhi of Yemen, belonging 
to the Mohammedad tribe, are still in very high 

* I believe the renowned Darley Arab was a Saklawye : he 
was purchased at Aleppo by Mr. Darley's brother, from an 
Arab tribe near Palmyra. 


estimation. The Roswallas likewise possess most' 
numerous herds of beautiful horses, and the powerful 
tribe of Benilam are now in possession of the Ghi- 
lan pastures, as well as of those in Shuster, where 
the ancient studs of Nisa and Susa were reared for 
the Persian kings. Mr. Bruce adds the Moualis, 
south of Palmyra and Damascus, where the studs 
are of similar ancient renown. 

The Kochlani, or superior breed, appear to be 
reared more generally in the deserts than in the 
more fixed abodes of the Arabian nation ; it being- 
evident elsewhere also, that horses acquire the most 
valued qualities by living in dry wildernesses and 
on scanty vegetation : every where the present Asi- 
atic races are traceable to these nurseries, and the 
Arabs have extended their selection of this kind of 
residence far beyond their own frontiers. At this 
moment, their Negeddy breed of Sannaa, which we 
take to be a part of the Najd of Arabia Felix, is in 
part stationed to the east of the Indus, in the well 
known desert of that region. 

Prince P. Muskau differs in many particulars 
with the foregoing statement, and it may be ob- 
served every writer on the subject of Arabian horses 
seems to generalize the information he has obtained 
in a particular quarter as applicable to the whole ; 
the Prince believes that to the first rank belongs 
two races : 

The real Nedschdis; that is to say, those bred 
in the province of that name, from whence all 
the noblest blood has been derived; it forms five 


breeds : — 1st, Sada-Tokan ; 2d, Touesse-al-Hamie ; 
3d, Shouahi-em-Anlioub ; 4th, Hamdanye-Symra ; 
5th, Souat-hije-aedem-Sachra ; the first of these 
names records that of the mare, the second gives 
the proprietors. 

The second is the race of Kaehel (we take to be 
the same as the Koheyl and Kaylan already men- 
tioned) ; of this the Prince knows only four studs : 
— 1st, Kaeh el-el- Adschroass ; 2d, Kaehel-Moussou- 
me ; 3d, Kaehel-Moussalsal ; 4th, Kaehel- Wednan ; 
all chiefly found on the desert between Bassora and 
Bagdad. He states that a Nedschi presented to 
Abbas Pacha was above eighteen years old, and yet 
valued at £400 sterhng; and moreover, that he 
could find no traces of the genealogies of blood- 
horses pretended to be preserved by the Arabs, but 
that they are fabricated in towns, if the purchaser 
demands them. " The Arab of the desert is content 
to know the dam and sire of the colt, and to rely 
on the care that every one takes of the purity of 
race." Of the Emir Bechir's stud he speaks with 
contempt, though Ave can hardly believe the old 
man of the mountain could have given cause for it 
to one so profoundly read in men and horses. 

Although the Arabian steed may not be acknow- 
ledged by amateurs of exceeding fast going, as per- 
fect in form, no race is possessed of a more beautiful 
head, for above the eyes it is squarer and below the 
nose is plane and more tapering than any other; 
the muzzle being fine, short, and adorned with wide 
and delicate nostrils ; the eyes are very prominent, 


large, and brilliant ; the ears small, pointed, move- 
able; the jaws and cheeks adorned with minute 
swelling veins; the head is well set on the neck, 
which arches gracefully and is bedecked with a fine 
but rather deficient mane; the withers are high; 
the shoulders inclining and beautifully adjusted; 
the chest and body perhaps not sufficiently ample, 
but yet spreading out behind the arms to give room 
for action to the lungs and heart, which are in pro- 
portion larger than in any other kind of horse; 
the limbs are remarkably fine, sinewy, and firmly 
jointed ; the legs flat and clean, with pasterns rather 
long and flexible, so that with an oblique position 
they appear to the heavier European not quite so 
strong as is desirable ; but considering that in sta- 
ture these horses do not often exceed fourteen hands 
and three-quarters, it is evident from the length of 
time they will carry a rider at great speed, and 
under great restriction of food, and the number of 
years they endure, that for their climate at least 
they are fully competent to accomplish all that is 
desirable, and even execute tasks which are not al- 
ways believed of them. The quarters of an Arab 
are deep, the muscles of the fore-arm and thigh pro- 
minent ; the tail set on high, with a middUng pro- 
portion of sweeping hair ; the skin on all parts of 
the body thin, presenting veins above the surface ; 
and the hoofs, rather high, are hard and tough. 

From the broad forehead and space between the 
ears, judges assert their greater courage and intelli- 
gencej which, aided by education and kind treat- 


ment, they certainly possess beyond all other horses ; 
and in temper and docility, none can be compared 
to them. 

For sobriety, these horses are equally notorious ; 
the Arab of the desert allowing his mare only two 
meals in twenty -four hours: she is kept fastened 
near the entrance of the tent, ready saddled for 
mounting in a moment, or turned out to ramble 
around it, confident in her training, that on the 
first call she will gallop up to be bridled. She re- 
ceives only a scanty supply of water at night, and 
five or six pounds of barley or beans with a little 
chopped straw, and then she lies down contented 
in the midst of her master's family; often with 
children sleeping on her neck, or lying between 
her feet; no danger to any being apprehended or 
experienced : in the morning, if not immediately 
wanted, another feed, and on some occasions a few 
dates and camels' milk are given, particularly where 
water is very scarce and there is no green herbage 
whatever, or during an expedition which admits of 
little or no respite. Camels' milk is almost the only 
nutriment of foals, who for that purpose are seen 
trotting free by the side of the camels, and every 
now and then thrusting their noses to get hold of 
the nurse's udder ; being treated by them with the 
same fondness as if they were their own young. 
Hence there is friendship instead of enmity be- 
tween the two species of animals, and the facts al- 
luded to by Herodotus and Xenophon, Aristotle 
and Pliny, respecting the repugnance of one for the 


other, show that in the age of Cyrus and the Per- 
sian invasions of Greece, the Arabs had not yet 
established their own breeds according to the system 
which the nature of the soil rendered unavoidable. 
The Bedoueen mares, under this mode of training, 
will travel fifty miles without stopping ; and they 
have been known to go one hundred and twenty 
miles on emergencies, with hardly a respite, and no 
food. In the newspapers, there was lately an ac- 
count of a bet against time, won by an Arab horse, 
at Bangalore, in the presidency of Madras, running 
four hundred miles in the space of four consecutive 
days. This exploit occurred on the 27th July, 

This power is further evinced in the relation of 
Mr. Frazer, * who states that Aga Bahram's Arab 
horse went from Shirauz to Teheraun, 522 miles, in 
six days, remained three to rest, went back in five 
days, remained nine at Shirauz, and returned again 
to Teheraun in seven days. The same officer related 
that he once rode another horse of his from Tehe- 
raun to Koom, twenty-four fursuks, or about eighty- 
four miles, starting at dawn in the morning, near 
the vernal equinox, and arriving two hours before 
sunset ; that is, in about ten hours : " but Aga 
Bahram," observes the author, " had always the 
best horses in Persia." When, therefore, we take 
together all the qualities of the Arabian horse, and 
compare them with other races, we may find some 
of greater single powers, but none endowed with so 
« * Frazer's Tartar Journeys, 


many to endear, to admire, or to use ; and this 
opinion we are warranted in passing, since neither 
Asia nor Europe can boast of a breed in all or in 
some respects superior or equal, that is not mainly 
indebted to the Arabian blood for the estimation it 
has obtained. But it is doubtful whether the great 
qualities of these animals are not now rapidly on 
the decline, the wants and expectations of the people 
evidently taking a new direction. 

Numerous anecdotes might be here inserted re- 
lating to these horses, but as they occur mostly in 
books deservedly popular, we would repeat only 
what is familiar to most readers. 

Of the bay stock, but already distinguished before 
the Arab was extolled, is 


Ancient and renowned, but nevertheless greatly 
improved since the conquests of the Moslem, and 
therefore in every respect the nearest ally in blood, 
and superior in some qualities. The climate and 
soil of that empire might indeed sustain an enor- 
mous number of horses such as the best among 
them are ; but that under a government, where pro- 
perty is insecure, there is not sufficient inducement 
for breeders to bestow the same unremitting atten- 
tion upon them for a succession of generations, as 
among the free Arabs, and hence the Moors do not 
produce pedigrees of horses equally valued with 
those from the East. In the Barbary states, the 


Lay stock race, ^vith its accompanying greys, once 
the only colours of horses, is now found to contain a 
proportion of black, Mith full manes and tails ; at- 
testing a northern infusion of more recent date than 
the Roman empire, and, it may be surmised, intro- 
duced by the Vandal conquerors of Africa. There 
are golden or light chestnuts, which likewise consti- 
tute a proportion of the ancient northern breeds, 
and were much used by the Alans. 

Barbary horses, particularly from Morocco, Fez, 
and the interior of Tripoli, are reported to be re- 
markably fine and graceful in their action, but 
somewhat lower than Arab, seldom being more 
than fourteen hands and one inch high, with flat 
shoulders, round chest, joints inclined to be long, 
and the head particularly beautiful. They are 
claimed by some as superior to the Arab in form, 
but inferior in spirit, speed, and countenance. A 
French traveller describes them to be in wretched 
condition, neglected, and not to be compared with 
them. Recent authors state the Godolphin Arabian 
to have been a Barb ; but in a manuscript note, we 
find this celebrated horse claimed as one of the 
Guelfe blood of Yemen, which his form of head, 
neck, and mane seemed to confirm : thus, although 
in England several thorough-bred mares and stal- 
lions have been imported from the Barbary coast, 
there was no account containing much personal ob- 
servation respecting them in their own country, 
until Mr. Washington, a lieutenant in the royal 
navT, communicated a paper to the Geographical 



Society, relative to a tour through Morocco, and the 
unfortunate Mr. Davidson s papers gave more satis- 
factory intelligence on the subject. The first men- 
tioned gentleman often observed in Barbary, horses 
that were of great beauty, with more power than 
the Andalusian, having a long striding walk, not 
slipping in the quarters, and galloping with great 
surety of foot over rough ground, while hunting 
wild boar and gazelle. According to him, they 
stand from fourteen to fifteen hands in height, are 
of every colour, but the black and chestnut are con- 
sidered the best bred : their full flowing manes are 
never docked, though in youth it is a practice to 
shave the tail, probably to obtain a more abundant 
growth of hair ; hence two feet and a half of mane, 
and a tail sweeping the ground, is not rare. The 
iMoors do not ride mares, nor mount horses under 
four years old. 

On a journey, the Barb starts unfed and \A'ithout 
water ; at the end of his day's work, he is picqueted, 
unbridled, never unsaddled ; he then receives as 
much water as he will drink, then barley and broken 
straw is thrown before him as far as he can stretch 
his neck ; hence he rarely or never lies down, nor 
gets sleep, and yet he is high spirited. Broken 
wind is rare, but tender feet and shaken in the 
shoulder from the abuse of the bit and sudden stop- 
ping in a gallop, are not unfrequent. In the interior 
of Morocco, a good horse may be obtained for a 
hundred Spanish dollars, or about M, 20 sterling, 
but not readily, and to export one requires an order 


from government. In the province of Ducaila, the 
breed is of high reputation. 

Some years ago we were informed by a Moorish 
gentleman that the Emperor had made a cross breed 
with his finest mares and a giant black stallion sent 
from Eno-land, we think the horse above eighteen 
hands high which was exhibited in London, and 
that he had succeeded in rearing several splendid 
black horses from it, which were the wonder of his 
countrymen. Here we have an actual instance of 
introducing a cross of the black race with the Arab 
stock, already partially mixed at a former period 
with the same blood, and the black so called Ara- 
bian horses in England are very likely real Barbs. 

On the sandy plains, south of Atlas, are 


or drinkers of the wind, reared by the Mograbins 
of the West ; they are brown or grey, rather low, 
shaped like greyhounds, destitute of flesh, or, as 
Mr. Davidson terms it, like a bag of bones; but 
their spirit is high and endurance of fatigue prodi- 
gious. On an occasion w^here the chief of a tribe, 
where he sojourned, w^as robbed of a favourite and 
fleet animal of this race, the camp went out in pur- 
suit eight hours after the theft; at night, though 
the animal was not yet recovered, it was already 
ascertained that the Daman pursuers had headed 
his txack and would secure him before morning. 
The messenger who returned with the intelligence 


had ridden sixty miles in the withering heat of the 
desert, Avithout drawing bit. These horses, accord- 
ing to Marmol, are not mounted till they are seven 
years old, and until then are allowed to follow the 
she-camels, whose udders they suck for a long time. 
From the information which Mr. Davidson received 
when he viewed one at the imperial stables of Mo- 
rocco, and afterwards while he had daily opportunity 
of seeing them in their own region, it appears they 
are fed only once in three days, when they receive 
a large jar of camels' milk as their only food ; but 
it is known that they have sometimes a handful of 
crushed dates : yet with such scanty sustenance, by 
nature not intended for horses, they retain a vigour 
which their real food would not bestow upon them, 
and hunt the ostrich with unceasing speed. 


found more towards the centre of Northern Africa, 
is extolled by Mr. Tully as possessed of the quali- 
ties of the Arabian and the beauty of the Barb. An 
individual of this, or perhaps of the Dongola race, 
which we have seen and sketched, was full fifteen 
hands high, and in proportion short of body ; the 
head was not set on gracefully, nor the eyes suffi- 
ciently large ; his back was carped, with flat quar- 
ters and flanks ; the tail set on rather low, but the 
shoulder fine, the upper arm the most robust possi- 
ble, and the limbs and feet beautiful. He came to 
England from the Gambia, was greyish white in 


colour, with black limbs, and so vicious that the 
owner at length broke his neck, at the risk of losing 
his own life. 



Nubia possesses horses, considered by Mr. Bruce 
as far superior to the Arab, though not of African 
origin, but introduced at the time of the Moham- 
medan conquest, and pretended to be descended 
from the five horses ridden by the prophet, his 
companions Abubekr, Omar, Atman, and Ali, ou 
the night of the hegira, when they fled together 
from Mecca! But among them, perhaps Atman 
must have been some believer of Turkoman or of 
Genseric's blood, since the cast of horses in Dongola 
is often black, of a stature rising above sixteen 
hands, with ample manes and tails. They are found 
at Alfaia, Gerri, and Dongola, where the sandy 
desert produces scarcely any pasturage, and that 
only consisting in roots more than leaf. With forms 
already noticed in the Bornou breed, and differing 
in proportion from the Arab, they are nevertheless 
remarkably handsome, tall, powerful, and active ; 
very supple, capable of great fatigue, docile, and 
attached to their masters. Mr. Bruce estimated 
the weight carried by the charger of the Prince, 
when he and his horse were accoutred in full ar- 
mour, at no less than three hundred pounds. Those 
of Alfaia and Gerri are not so large as the Dongo- 
lese ; theii: usual colours are bay, black, and white, 


not grey, and never dappled. Stallions only are 
ridden, and they are fed with doiirra {Holcus durra^ 
Lin.), which is very nutritious, and with roots well 
washed and dried before they are offered as fodder. 
They feed and drink saddled and bridled, with a 
kind of snaffle, and they are secured by means of a 
cotton rope attached to the fore-foot. 

Mr. Hoskins the most recent traveller who de- 
scribes this race, says that the black are the finest : 
they have all white legs, sometimes the white ex- 
tends over the thighs, and occasionally over the 
belly ; they are not light, slender horses, but more 
remarkable for their strength; but they have all 
rather upright pasterns. They are now rare even in 
Ethiopia, where they fetch from £50 to £150 ster- 
ling. From these details it might be surmised that 
they descend from the Tahtar Katschentzi race we 
shall notice in the sequel. From their speed, size, 
and durability, they constitute excellent war horses : 
one of them was sold at Cairo, in 1816, for a sum 
equivalent to £1000 sterling; several have since 
been imported into Europe, where they do not ap- 
pear to have obtained great consideration, because 
they are not so fleet as Arabs, and consequently 
unable to compete with English racers, but they 
might be used to great advantage in forming a 
superior breed of cavalry horses by crossing with 
three-part bred mares. * 

In Abyssinia the horses are of the Arabian stock, 

* The specimen figured, Tlate X.*, represents one that car- 
ried Osman, a Mameluke, from the Nile across the desert to 
Tunis ; a feat perhaps never before accomplished. 


but seldom of any real value, a fact the more re- 
markable, as pasturage is abundant and very fine, 
and the pure air of mountain regions breeds, in all 
parts of the northern hemisphere, small horses at 
least of great vigour ; but the bay stock is no where 
a mountain race. 

The Bedoueens, as far as the deserts of Ludamar, 
on the borders of Kaarta, are remarkably well 
mounted ; and good horses of the bay race are found 
among the Soolimas and Begharmis. Even fmther 
on towards the equator, those of the Moors fre- 
quenting the gum-forests towards the Gambia, and 
of the Foulahs, and in Cashna on the north of the 
Niger, they are obtained from Fez and Bomou ; but 
from the Guinea coast they become more and more 
weak, unsafe, and untractable ; nor does it appear 
that the Portuguese colony of Angola, to the south 
of the line, is possessed of any worth recording. 

At the Cape of Good Hope, the horses are of a 
mixed breed of the black Dutch and Arabian Ka- 
deschi ; they are not larger than the Arab, but show 
also that the northern black offer an improving 
mixture, for the best Cape horses are generally of 
that colour. Sir Robert R. Gillespie's favourite 
charger, akeady mentioned, was of this race. 

Turning to the north and east of Arabia, we first 
meet with 


of horses, proceeding from the old Armenian and 
>Vo[jtem Asiatic brown, but now principally com- 


posed of Arab blood, belongs cbiefly to Natolia, and 
only in part to Roumelia in Europe. The Turks 
cannot be said strictly to possess permanent breeds 
of horses, with distinct names of established cele- 
brity; they are purchased, or more generally the 
result of individual amateurship and caprice in 
wealthy persons. They derive their blood almost 
wholly from some imported Arabian, and are much 
in the care of Arab grooms ; hence they possess all 
the gentleness and acquirements of the parent race, 
all and even more beauty, but want their vigour 
and durability. They have, from the ancient Tur- 
koman blood, a tendency to Roman-nosed chaffrons 
and ewe necks, but the head is finely set on ; they 
are delicate, have very tender and irritable skins, 
making it necessary to use the brush and sponge 
alone in cleaning them ; but also they are docile and 
graceful like gazelles. We made a sketch of one 
that had been sent a present by the Sultan, which 
walked and moved with inimitable elegance, had a 
head and swan-like neck, slender limbs, springing 
pasterns, and high hoofs, fit only to carry a lady, 
but, notwithstanding, possessed of fire and speed 
whenever the rider pleased. 

Turkish horses have contributed materially in the 
improvement of the older English breed. Queen 
Elizabeth had one purchased for her by Sir Thomas 
Gresham, and the Byerly and Lister Turks are well 
known to all who interest themselves in the pedi- 
grees of our best blood-horses. 

The rest of Turkish horses are neglected remaina 


of the more ancient breeds, — Tahtar, Hungarian, 
Wallaclnan, and lowest class of Arabians. They 
are fed at sunrise and sunset, and watered at the 
same time, contrary to the Persian mode, who do 
not let them drink till an hour after. 


If we were to judge from ancient sculptures, the 
Persian horses of antiquity were as heavy as the 
present Flemish cart-horses ; for mail-clad riders and 
horse armour rendered bone necessary. In the great 
wars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the 
superiority of the Persian horse over the Turkish 
was still chiefly owing to their greater bone enabling 
them to bear armour on man and beast, while the 
Turks had no other defence than a shield ; but at 
present the form of the animal is much altered. 
Like the Turkish, it consists, in their mutually bor- 
dering provinces, of pure Arabians, already men- 
tioned ; but, further east, is more intermixed with 
the residue of the ancient breeds and later Turko- 
man importations. Persian horses seldom exceed 
fourteen hands and a half, have the neck slender, 
often a little ewe-like, the ears handsome, the chest 
narrow, the legs fine, the hoofs hard, and the croup 
well turned. The nobler studs have the head some- 
what larger, but nearly as beautiful as the Arabian ; 
the frame is more developed, and their spirit is war- 
like. From the speed of chuppers, or express mes- 
sengers, we know their endurance of fatigue. Major 


Keppel mentions one of these riding expresses, who 
passed him between Kermanshaw and Haroadan, 
one hundred and twenty miles distant from each 
other, in a stony mountainous country, who per- 
formed that route on one horse (and of course a 
common horse) in little more than twenty-four 
hours, and next morning went on upon the same 
for Teheran, two hundred miles further, expecting 
to reach it on the second day. Indeed chuppers, 
unlike Turkish Tahtars, seldom change horses ; they 
go on at a steady ambling pace of four or five miles 
an hour, and some have gone from Teheran to 
Bushire, seven hundred miles, in ten days. 

These instances are sufficient to prove the en- 
during power of the Persian horses, even of inferior 
studs, and the adventurous riding of the native 
sportsmen, as acknowledged by British gentle- 
men well acquainted with fox-hunting, evidently 
proves their sure-footedness, in the daring way 
the riders gallop down the steepest and most rug- 
ged hills. They are usually fed and watered an 
hour after sunrise, and again at sunset, when they 
are rubbed down and brushed ; their barley or rice, 
and chopped straw or chaff, is put in a nose-bag 
hung from their heads, if they are at the picquet ; 
but in the stable it is placed into a lozenge-shaped 
hole made in the mud-wall for that purpose, but 
higher than European mangers, and thence the ani- 
mal draws it at his leisure. Hay is unknown in the 
East : horse-litter, in Persia, consists of the dung 
reduced to powder and daily dried in the sun. 


They wear nummuds, or clothes, for winter and 
summer, which reach from head to tail, and are 
secured by surcinc/les. 

In the day-time they are kept under the shade of 
trees or awnings, and at night placed in court-yards, 
with their heads secured to double ropes from the 
halters, and the heels of the hind feet strapped to 
cords of twisted hair, which are fastened to rings 
and pegs driven in the ground behind them ; a cus- 
tom likewise in vogue in India, and known in the 
time of Xenophon. These precautions are necessary 
to prevent their fighting ; for this purpose stable- 
boys and grooms constantly sleep near them^ and 
notwithstanding all the care they can take, some 
occasionally get loose, and then an uproar and 
battle ensues before they can be separated, such as 
is not to be remedied without damage to the horses 
and danger to the men. The pugnacity of stallions, 
indeed, extends to all occasions where opportunity 
is given them, and in feuds of different tribes, no 
skirmish takes place between the riders without 
their horses taking part and endeavouring to paw 
and bite each other with consummate fury. 

The Persian nobility have horse races, consti- 
tuting more properly trials of bottom than speed ; 
for the distance they are made to run is not less 
than about twenty-four miles, and to effect this 
with tolerable speed the animals are put in training, 
particularly by sweating them down to mere skele- 
tons, and making them go over the ground repeat- 
edly before the day of trial. In breaking horses fox 


the saddle, tlieir walk is first tauglit to be made 
into long strides, and the next qualification consists 
in darting off at full gallop, and the best in the 
practice who possess likewise speed are emphatically 
called haad-pee^ or wind-heeled. 

Among the more noted are 

The Kauserooni breed, obtained by crossing the 
Arab and Turkoman races, and may be the same as 
the Koordy. It is from this the best roadsters are 
derived, combining the speed of the one with the 
strength of the other, but not in an equal degree. 

The Erscheck breed, from the vicinity of Ardebil, 
is in repute for beauty ; and those of Shirvan, Ka- 
rabag, and Mokan, where there are good pastures, 
are extolled. The sovereigns of the Sefi dynasty 
likewise maintained brood mares on the Tzikziki 
hills, between Sultanieh and Casvin. 

The Ishepatan breed is now principally within 
the Russian frontier, and numbered in the table of 
brandmarks furnished by Pallas, where he notices 
no less than fifty-six Circassian and Abassian breeds 
of great Kaharda^ among which that of Shalok\ in 
possession of the Tau Sultan family, is of the highest 
reputation. All of these are of breeding studs be- 
longing to the nobles, each having a peculiar mark 
branded on the buttock or shoulder, with scrupulous 
attention to authenticity ; a misapplication thereof 
being considered the same as a forgery. 

We have seen, among the Cossack officers, very 
handsome chestnuts of Circassian race, in size equal 
to English horses, but they appeared to be less 


firmly jointed ; and this deficiency seems to be 
general, since, in a noted trial of speed and endur- 
ance between Sharper and Mina, two first-rate 
English blood-horses, and the best bred animals 
picked for the purpose among the Don, the Black 
Sea, and the Ural Cossacks, which occurred in 1825 ; 
they were to run to the cruel distance of forty-seven 
miles, and although both the English had gone out of 
the course uphill for above two mile?, yet Sharper 
was winner by eight minutes, running the whole dis- 
tance in two hours and forty-eight minutes, carry- 
ing three stone more than his best opponent, leaving 
him to be warped in without a saddle, and having 
only a child on the back, with two horsemen hold- 
ing him up on both sides, and other men dragging 
at his head Avith a rope ! 

The horses of the vicinity of Caucasus, both to 
the north and south, are, however, more particularly 
of the ancient dappled and grey stock, now gradu- 
ally merging into the bay, but still numerous ; in 
some pastures predominant, and both in Persia and 
India, on gala days, often beautified by having 
their manes, tails, and sometimes parts of the body, 
stained with a crimson or an orange dye. There is 
also, on the coast of the Persian Gulf, the Musjeed 
breed of white horses, naturally speckled with deep 
brown or black, known early in the middle ages, 
and then considered as the most eligible of all 
parade horses. * "White horses are likewise arti- 

* We think the name of Tati is given to them by ancient 
Indian writers, but do not know where it is so defined. Tb© 


ficially stained with small spots of black, orange, or 
even crimson ; their name may have some connexion 
with the use they are principally put to, namely, to 
be ridden in parade to the mosque, &c. 


also named Turkoman and Toorkoraan, so far as 
they are mainly indebted for beauty and speed to 
the Arabian stock, should be separated from the 
original unimproved breeds of the nation which 
extends to the north of the Syr-deriah or Jaxartes 
and the Sea of Aral ; these waters forming a line of 
separation from west to east to the Kiptchak moun- 
tains. On the south of this line we find horses 
strong and bony, larger than the Persian, standing 
fifteen or sixteen hands high, capable of immense 
fatigue and privation. Some are said to have tra- 
velled nine hundred miles in eleven consecutive 
days. They cannot, however, be compared in 
beauty with the southern breeds; their heads are 
always much larger, they have ewe-necks, a small 
barrel, and long legs, yet even on the spot a thorough 
bred specimen will sell for £300 sterling, which 
is an enormous price, considering the country.* The 

ancients spoke of these horses as inhabitants of the isles in 
the Red Sea, — probably Bahrein, &.c. on the east coast of 
Arabia, and near the Persian Gulf, sometimes called the Ery- 
thraean Sea. 

* Captain Frazer (Journey to Khorasan) says ''• they are 
deficient in compactness ; their bodies are long in proportioa 


natiTCS of course pretend that they are descended 
from Rustum's wonderful charger Ruksh, though 
there is better evidence of the introduction in the 
country of the first class of Arabian stallions by 
Timur and Nadir Shah ; and the constant inter- 
course with Arabia is still kept up by pilgrimage 
and caravans. These horses bear the marks of de- 
scent from the ancient grey stock, crossed with the 
bay, in their grey and chestnut coats and general 
make, and the presence of a third in the Karalulo 
race of black horses, of ancient reputation for speed, 
and not uncommonly found in oriental illuminated 
books. * 

The Ashoo breed is mentioned in the legends of 
India, but the most renowned we believe to be, at 

The Tekeh^ being the tallest, most hardy, and 
warlike, and therefore preferred to the Arab, the 
best being worth four hundred tomauns each. 

The Gorgum breed is reared in the desert east of 
Asterabad, having the defective appearance of the 
blood, but standing sixteen hands high, and remark- 
to their bulk ; they are not well ribbed up, are long on the 
legs, deficient in muscle, falling off below the knee, raiTow- 
chested, long-necked ; head large, uncouth, and seldom well 
put on. Such was the impression," &c. But if these defects 
were real, the horses could have neither durability nor speed. 

* See the Gottiugen IMSS. of the Shah-Nameh, and a book 
of fables in Turkish, Brit. Mus. They always carry heroes and 
chiefs. It was on one of these Selim, flying from his father 
Bajazet, escaped to Varna. They liave usually white feet and 
a whitte star on the forehead. 


ably sinewy ; biit both Arab mares and stallions are 
now introduced among them, particularly on the 
fixed studs and permanent residences, where their 
figure improves ; still those of the desert retain pre- 
eminence for use. Their long journeys are always 
performed in a lengthened stride or a jog-trot. 

Tlie Toorkmunee of the Lower Oxus are large 
and spirited, much valued in Bokhara, where they 
are put into condition about Nirk Merdaun, west of 
Caubul, and then sold ; fetching from <£20 to £100 

The Chnprastee (swift) and Karooghle (war) 
horses are two Turkoman breeds of the vicinity of 
Shurukhs, to the northward between Mushed and 

The Aghuholaky on the Oxus, seems to be a fancy 
breed, being most remarkable for a dimple or a 
whorl on some part of the neck or body, which 
among Asiatics is always an object of wonder, and 
still more of ^ood or evil omen. This fancy was 
known to the ancients, and is still in some repute 
among Spaniards, who call a line of feathering in 
the hair of the neck, below the root of the mane, 
Espada Romana ; that in the flank is called Daga^ 
and when double, it is Espada Condago. But what 
is here principally in view is a depression or suture, 
without scar, in the neck or shoulder, not uncom- 
mon among Turkish and Barbary horses ; the for- 
mer in particular, considering this mark as of good 
omen, pretending that it is a spcar-wound received in 
battle by a war-horse and perpetuated in his breed. 


The Karaheer Usbec breed, from the neighbour- 
hood of Samarkand and Shur-Subhs, is in the highest 
estimation, and 

The Kataghan breed of Bunduz is hardy though 
under- sized, but considered far superior to the Kir- 
guise, by which we apprehend the white and black 
woolly-haired races are to be understood. 

The Meros^ small sized horses, we take to be the 
same as the Toorkee or Usbekee, bred about Balkh 
in Bokhara; they are strong, hardy, and subdi- 
vided into three breeds, and are sold for prices vary- 
ing from <£ 5 to £ 20 sterling. But these pony 
forms, commonly called Yahoos^ do not strictly 
belong to the bay stock, but to the small mountain 
races we shall revert to in the sequel. We now pass 
on to the east side of the Indus, where, until the 
Mahommedan conquest, the Persian, Arabian, or 
bay type was rarely or never seen, where it has 
never thriven, even under Moslem masters, and is 
now only risen to a proper standard of height, and 
improved to an equality with the better class of 
horses of Western Asia, since the Hon. East India 
Company has established breeding studs for mount- 
ing its numerous and formidable native cavalry. 


Beyond the Indus we still find the bay stock of 
Western Asia, but not the horse of the people, and 
only perceptible because it was introduced by con- 
querors, is still perpetually imported, and for several 


aops attempts have been made to nationalize breeds 
of it. One of these is 

The Dunnes breed of the Punjaub, reared between 
the Indus and Hydaspes or Jelum, not sufficiently 
superintended in the choice of stallions, yet much 
superior to the common horses of the country. 

The Toorkee^ bred from Turkoman and Persian 
races, is beautiful in form, graceful, and even good- 
tempered. The animal has great spirit, and exerts 
himself so vigorously, that to a beholder it appears 
he is much excited, while the rider feels by his bridle 
his perfect coolness and obedience. * Toorkee and 
Kaqthi horses, when they have been taught an easy 
lengthened amble, are called Tamekdar or Kadom- 
bas^ and from their durability are much valued. 

The Ircmee, of Persian origin, is a strong, well- 
jointed, and quartered animal, but with loose ears 
and deficient in spirit. 

The present Tazzee of Bengal are not of the an- 
cient race ; they grow to sixteen hands high, but 
are in general a hand or more below that standard, 
having Roman noses, narrow foreheads, much white 
of the eyes visible, ill-shaped ears, thin necks, lank 
bodies, cat hams, and mostly very vicious. 

The Jungle Tazzee is a mixed breed, of a fine 
stature, bold and commanding appearance, and ex- 
cellent racers. Their spirit requires good riders to 
mount them. The form of the head is longer than 
the Arab, but not so delicate; the neck is rather 

* Captain Williamson describes them as broad, short, heavy, 

and plilegraatic. 



stiff, and their eyes betray the viciousness of dispo- 
sition, which not uncommonly requires the rider, 
while mounting, to have his horse blindfolded. They 
are of all colours, but mostly bays, some roans and 
white, and a few betray their Tangum intermixture 
by being piebald : the tail and mane are long, not 
abundant ; the ears generally laid l)ack ; but they 
bear vast fatigue, as was proved in our wars with 
the Mahrattas and Pindarrees chiefly mounted upon 

The Serissahs of North Bahar, though of the 
Tazzee breed, are valued, and so abundant, that up- 
wards of twenty thousand are sold at the annual 

The Maginnee^ bred by Tazzee horse and Persian 
mares, have beauty, speed, spirit, and endurance. 

The Takan of India, remarkable for strong backs 
and well made, are natural amblers. 

The Kolaree breed, of a good height, with a long 
curved chaffron, is devoid of vigour ; but the Mah- 
rattas possess a middle-sized horse, of Arab or 
Persian origin, in considerable abundance, and very 
fit for service. 

The Cutch breed, remarkable for the structure of 
the withers, which drop three or four inches so 
suddenly, that there appears to be a part of the 
vertical ridge of the spine taken away. Saddles 
must be made on purpose for them ; and although 
this defect is unsightly and must weaken the ani- 
mals, they are nevertheless much valued by the 
natives and in the Mekran. 


The Cattywarr breed is of superior blood and at 
least equal beauty with the Cutch, having gentle 
dispositions ; and the rare dun-coloured breed, with 
black stripes like a tiger, is particularly valued, and 
competes with true Arabians. 

But the mode of feeding horses, among the na- 
tives, shows a system of quacking which does not 
trust to what nature has prescribed; they are, it 
seems, often fed at night on boiled peas, no doubt 
gram^ which is a kind of vetch, with sugar and 
butter ; others employ lentiles, or small beans, boiled 
with a sheep's head, or wheaten flour with molasses, 
adding from time to time messals, or balls composed 
of pepper, curcumi, garlick, coriander ; even arrack, 
opium, bang, or hemp-seed, mixed with molasses ! 
— Such a system, with the exception of gram, we 
understand, is totally rejected in the Hon. Com- 
pany's studs in Bahar, w^here at first the horses 
reared were rather under-sized and afterwards wanted 
bone ; but by attention and perseverance in the selec- 
tion of brood-mares and stallions, a splendid race of 
Indian horses is at last obtained, and fast increasing. 
Formerly, our cavalry in India was chiefly mounted 
on the Jungle Tazzee race, and on purchases ob- 
tained from the fairs in Thibet, at Hurdsvar, and 
other places, but the practice is fast decreasing, and 
the stud at Hissar is now, we are told, unrivalled. * 

* Tlie Cozalcee is regularly imported, and therefore not an 
Indian breed ; and the Kaqthi comes from Thibet. The Ghoonts, 
Piekarrows, and Bhooteah mountain ponies do not belong to 
the bay stock. 


Of the bay stock there is also now forming the 
New Holland breed, entirely of Arab blood; one 
gentleman being in possession of a stud of three 
hundred thorough bred horses, each on an average 
valued at £ 100 sterling. 

On the west of Turkey we have the noble breeds 
of Transylvania^ in stature rising to fifteen hands 
and more ; with slender bodies, fine heads, high 
withers, the tail set on level with the back, and the 
limbs fine, — evidently a race of Turkish origin, and 
very like the Spanish. Colours bay or grey ; mane 
and tail long and silky. 

The Moldavian^ nearly of the same stature, but 
less elegantly made, the head being larger, the tail 
set on lower, but still a noble race, with more of 
the ancient blood, and in colour bay or chestnut. 
These characters prove an affinity with 

The Greek horse, of similar stature, but still 
coarser head and jowl, scraggy neck, and rather 
knotty joints, but possessed of enduring qualities 
and temper. This breed belongs more particularly 
to Eastern Greece, and is in general chestnut ; there 
are bays and greys, but very few black. 

More westward in Europe, the bay stock, as M'e 
have already mentioned, was early carried to seve- 
ral places on the coast of the Mediterranean, to 
Sicily, and in particular to Spain, where, if it was 
deteriorated by the Goths during their dominion, 
more than pristine nobility was restored to it by 
the iSaracen invasion, which brought directly both 
Arabian and Barbary blood in great abundance to 


the peninsula. "We Lave noticed the earlier history 
of the Alferes, Andalus, and Ginetas, and may 
add, that the period of their decay commenced with 
the expulsion of the Moors, increased during the 
Bourbon dynasty, and what was left of good horses 
after the barbarous order of Bonaparte's marshal to 
disable and blind the right eye of every serviceable 
horse in Andalusia, has perished, it seems, in the 
present civil war. Yet Spain may still restore, or, 
as soon as public tranquillity avIU permit, no doubt, 
will revive her pristine race of noble horses ; some, 
we trust, have escaped the general ruin, enough to 
justify an account of them in this place, and serve 
for comparison with the South American, entirely 
derived from the Andalusian blood. 

The Spanish race is subject to have the lower 
jaw heavy, the head rather large, and the nose 
Roman; the ears, often fixed low, are somewhat 
long ; the neck fleshy, with superabundant mane ; 
the shoulders and breast broad and full ; the croup 
mule- like; the body round, and the joints long ; 
but notwithstanding small defects, the Andalusian 
horses are flexible, graceful, and active, forming ex- 
cellent manege or riding-school steeds, and very 
good chargers. They vary in colour, but bays pre- 
dominate, and next, black and greys. Of colours, 
the Morcillo, or black without a white mark, or 
with only a star on the forehead, are esteemed of the 
highest breed and strongest bone, even to a proverb. * 

* " A mulberry black horse ia what every one should wish 
for, though few can possess." 


The Isabella variety is, we believe, always albino, 
or with a roseate skin. 

The And(.ihman owe their latest reputation chiefly 
to the Xeres breed of the Chartreuse, somewhat 
smaller, more delicate, with rather long pasterns, but 
exceedingly graceful, and not fully prepared for the 
saddle till six or seven years old. The other Anda- 
lusian, Grenada, and Estremadura races, are larger, 
more robust, sooner reared, and therefore more pro- 
fitable and more abundant. There is also a breed of 
Murcia, which, like thos2 of the Pyrenees, is small, 
and belongs to a different stock. 

Sardinia possesses three races of horses, of which 
one is noble and now almost entirely composed of 
descendants of Spanish blood, introduced by Don 
Alvarez de Madrigal about 1565: the principal 
breed belongs to the crown at Paulo-latino ; there is 
a second the property of the house of Benevente, 
and a third to that of Mauca. They are handsome, 
fourteen hands and a half high, naturally disposed 
to amble, sure-footed, and capable of going a hun- 
dred and twenty Italian miles in thirty hours. 
There are horse-races at Sassari ; the aim, however, 
seems to be not speed, but secure flexibility, in 
going fast through a ^Yinding course, and passing 
into a narrow gate at an acute angle. 

The South American horses are marked with 
most if not all the characters of their Andalusiau 
progenitors ; they have their grace and good temper, 
and surpass them in speed, surety of foot, and bot- 
tom. Individuals taken on the Pampas have been 


known to carry a heavy man one Imndred miles 
without drawing bit ; but some account having al- 
ready been given of them, and recent travellers 
having repeatedly described the mode of subduing 
and management of horses by the Gauchos!, we shall 
point out only two or three breeds. Well known 
in Peru is 

The Parameros (see Plate XTI.), so called from 
the word paramos (mountains), because they gallop 
down steep precipices and leap across ravines with 
equal rapidity and safety. A second, named 

Aigidlilla^'^ are not less vigorous and active, and 
prized for a most rapid mode of moving, resembling 
an amble, but so fast that, according to Don Juan 
de UUoa, the best gallop cannot keep up with it. 

In the hills and mountain regions of the northern 
states of South America, we have found the grey of 
the Asturian stock very prevalent-, and among them 
rufous greys with soft somewhat curled hair; those 
we have seen were powerful, square-built, and sure- 
footed cobs, remarkably serviceable in precipitous 
mountain regions. 

In Paraguay, however, the Spanish horse blood 
is sadly degenerated, and there are no feral herds, in 
consequence of an hippobosca or an cestrus attacking 
the umbilical region of young foals, producing ulcers 
which invariably destroy the animal, unless human 
care interposes. To this care the natives solely con- 
fine the protection they give horses, and neglected 
in this manner, they are become heavy inelegant 
animals, with a deformity among them we do not 


find noticed in any other country, namely, the fre- 
quent occurrence of full-grown carcases with very 
short distorted legs. 

The Mexican are known to be derived chiefly 
from Andalusian progenitors, and so are the race of 
Seminole horses, in the Creek or Muscogulge tongue 
named Echoclucco, or big deer, according to Bartram. 
They are a beautiful and sprightly race, of small 
stature, and delicately formed, like roebucks, w^ith 
handsome heads, the nose being slightly aquiline : 
this peculiarity is likewise observed in the race of 
the Chactaws^ which is larger and less lively, tlie 
former having been introduced by the first Spanish 
settlers in East Florida, the latter comino- from New 

In the Floridas there are breeding quarters called 
stamps, where the animals, reared almost wholly in 
a state of independence, acquire nevertheless an 
affection for mankind by being occasionally enticed 
into his presence by means of handfuls of salt being 
offered, a dainty so much relished, that the older 
mares gallop up to the giver at the first sight of 
him, and the fillies and colts, after a little coyness, 
are easily reconciled to his presence. 

In Jamaica we find a breed of blood-horses of the 
Arab stock, derived from the English. There are 
several studs reared in what are there called breeding 
pens, in the western parishes of the island. They 
appeared to us in general lighter and smaller than 
thorough-bred English horses, but certainly the pro- 
duce of a noble race, elegant in form, fleet on the 


race-course, and equally serviceable for the saddle 
and light carriages. 

From the same sources are derived the blood- 
horses of the United States, reared more ]!artlcularly 
in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. 
Some of the best horses ever bred in England, such 
as Shark and Tallyho, have contributed to give a 
high character to the breeds of Virginia and the 
Jerseys. The Conestoga breed of Pennsylvania, and 
those of the middle states, long in the leg and light 
in carcase, often rise to seventeen hands at the 
shoulder, and make splendid gig-horses, 'vvhile those 
of less stature are most sought for riding. Towards 
the north the English race is mixed with the Ca- 
nadian, originally from Normandy, and judicious 
breeding between them has produced remarkable 
fast trotters. 


We are now come to the unrivalled breeds of Great 
Britain, — the first in form, in strength, in speed, and 
in stature, and the highest in value, of any period in 
the history of the world. As our immedate object 
is, however, to complete the view of the bay stock, 
we shall confine ourselves, for the moment, more 
immediately to what is termed the blood-horse, and 
resume what remains to be said of its history from 
the time of James I., who patronized horse-racing 
and first reduced the pursuit to a regular system. 
In his time, Turkish and Barbary horses had been 


repeatedly introduced to form a breed with English 
mares, without as yet any acknowledged advantage ; 
he carried his views farther, and ventured to huy, 
at the enormous price of five hundred pounds, an 
Arab horse, from a merchant of the name of Mark- 
ham. But the minds of the nobility and gentry were 
still so strongly imbued with the old predilection 
for what were then termed great horses, that is, 
large and bony chargers for heavy-armed knights, 
that liis intentions were thwarted, chiefly by the 
celebrated duke of Newcastle, who was thoroughly 
enamoured of the Pignatelli * school of horseman- 
ship, and wrote two works, which have remained 
text-books on the continent, even down to the late 
French revolution. He judged the Arab horse to be 
a little bony animal of ordinary shape, and it hav- 
ing been trained and found not to be fleet, he set it 
down as good for nothing, and by his rank and 
deserved reputation for knowledge, checked the pro- 
gress of improvement for a great number of years, t 
King James, however, was not discouraged ; he 
bought a second horse that came from some part of 
the north coast of Africa, of Mr. Place, who was 
afterwards stud-master of Oliver Cromwell. This 
horse was the celebrated, so called, White Turk, 

* Pignatelli was the person who, in the reign of Henry VIII., 
first introduced at Naples the modern system of riding, or 

f Buff on and Sonnini, with equal self-satisfaction and perti- 
nacity, have inflicted a similar consequence upon their own 


whose name is still constantly found at the head of 
many of the besfc pedigrees. Soon after, Villiers 
first duke of Buckingham introduced the Helmsley 
Turk, and Lord Fairfax added the Morocco Barb. 
From this time great horses, notwithstanding they 
were still cried up, began visibly to diminish. 

Races were now established by Charles I. at 
Newmarket and Hyde Park ; and during the civil 
war, Cromwell, who had trained himself the best 
regiment of horse then perhaps in existence, had 
no doubt discovered that mere bone and stature was 
no match against speed and bottom. From the time 
of the Protectorate, the question was decided ; for, 
at the Restoration, Charles II. sent his master of the 
horse to the Levant to purchase mares and stallions : 
Barbs and Turkish horses were more repeatedly 
imported, and, in time, stallions of every breed of 
the East were implanted on the British stock. This 
was the case more particularly from the period when 
Mr. Darle}^, in the reign of Queen Anne, produced 
his celebrated Arabian, and after much opposition, 
succeeded in engrafting that race upon the English ; 
and then finished the organization of a system, 
which, under judicious management, has given 
speed, strength, and beauty, not only to the nobler 
class of horses, but gradually extended these advan- 
tages through every breed of importance in the 
kingdom. At present, thorough-bred horses are 
more numerous than ever, and Arabians may be 
found in every county. 



To what blood the British race-horse is chiefly 
indebted for his supremacy, is a question that has 
been repeatedly agitated. Turk, Barb, Arab, and 
Persian, the Spanish jennet, and the best formed 
animals of the domestic, originally Flemish black 
breed, German and Norman horses, are all directly 
or remotely connected with it ; but the meaner and 
less generous families are allied only at a more 
ancient date, and even the Spanish for many gene- 
rations has been discarded, although some horses of 
great speed are mentioned to have been of this 
blood so late as the latter half of the last century, * 
and others with a pedigree stained with vulgar 
blood have occasionally acquired considerable repu- 
tation ; t yet both the race-horse and the hunter, 
when stud-books are consulted, where the pedigrees 
are recorded, clearly descend from Turkish and Barb 
parentage more exclusively in the beginning, and 
from the Arab at a subsequent period. Thus, to 
the Byerly Turk we owe the Herod blood, whence 
Highflyer descended; to the Godolphin Barb the 
Matchem, considered as the stoutest, or what is 
termed as the most honest filiation ; to the Darley 
Arabian, the sire of Flying Childers, is due the 

* Shotten-herring, Conqueror, Butter, and Peacock, accord- 
ing to Sonnini, were of Spanish blood, 
t S'ach as Sampson and Bay Malton. 


Eclipse progeny ; and to the Wellesley, pronounced 
to be of Persian origin, the only real advantage 
obtained by a foreign cross of late years. * The 
names of these progenitors, mixed with those of 
many others, sufficiently prove this general truth ; 
for among them we may reckon, besides the above, 
the Helmsley Turk, Lister Turk, Darcy white Turk, 
Hutton's bay Turk ; Morocco Barb, Thoulouse Barb, 
Cur wen Barb, Torrans Barb, Hutton's grey Barb, 
Cole's Barb; the Markham Arabian, Leeds Ara- 
bian, Darley Arabian, and a great number of others 
less renowned. Of the powers of English racers 
we have already seen the effect, when tried against 
the best Russian horses ; the same result was shown 
in India, where, a few years ago. Recruit, an Eng- 
lish racer of moderate reputation, easily beat Pyra- 
mus, the best Arabian in Bengal. The Devonshire, 
or Flying Childers, we have also named; he ran 
over the course at Newmarket (three miles, six 
furlongs, and ninety-three yards) in six minutes 
and forty seconds, and the Beacon course (four 
miles, one furlong, and one hundred and thirty- 
eight yards) in seven minutes and thirty seconds. 
In 1772, a mile was ran by Firetail in one minute 
and four seconds. In October 1741, at the Curragh 
meeting, in Ireland, Mr. Wilde engaged to ride 
one hundred and twenty-seven miles in nine hours ; 

* We have little doubt that the Wellesley was a Persian of 
the ancient white stock, mixed with the highest blood of Tur- 
koman race, and prolably with a cross of the Arabian, as the 
uiakc of the heud eviuced. 


he performed it in six hours and twenty-one mi- 
nutes, riding ten horses, and allowing for mounting 
and dismounting and a moment for refreshment: 
he rode for six hours at the rate of twenty miles an 
hour. Mr. Thornton, in 1 745, rode from Stilton to 
London, back, and again to London, making two 
hundred and fifteen miles, in eleven hours, on the 
turnpike and uneven ground. Mr. Shafto, in 17^2, 
with ten horses, and five of them ridden twice, 
accomplished fifty miles and a quarter in one hour 
and forty-nine minutes. In 1 7^3, he won a second 
match, which was to provide a person to ride one 
hundred miles a day, on any one horse each day, 
for twenty-nine days together, and to have any 
number of horses, not exceeding twenty-nine : he 
accomplished the task on fourteen horses ; and on 
one day he rode one hundred and sixty miles, on 
account of the tiring of his first horse. Mr. Hull's 
Quibbler, however, aiforded the most extraordinary 
instance on record of the stoutness as well as speed 
of the race-horse, when, in December 1786, he ran 
twenty-three miles round the flat at Newmarket in 
fifty-seven minutes and ten seconds. 

Prince Piickler Muskau admits the undeniable 
superiority of the English horse over the Arab. 
He had practical opportunity of judging both, as 
racers and as jumpers over lofty fences ; but he 
would place high-born persons on Arabs alone," and 
leave the English blood-horse to jockeys, wisely 

* Turkish bashaws and Persian chiefs teing notoriously 


abstaining from the question of chargers in war, 
and overlooking the fact, that in England, where 
valuable Arabs abound, they are not as such pre- 
ferred by riders over the thorough-bred blood-horses 
of the land. Now, by the term blood is understood 
the qualities produced in a horse by a superiority 
of muscular substance, lightness, and compactness 
of form, united with a justly proportioned shape ; 
or a physical structure of tendon, bone, and lungs, 
proj^er to afford the full effects of the mechanical 
means of speed, when set in motion by high iner- 
vaticn. When these conditions of the problem 
are fully carried out by a judicious and persevering 
course of breeding and education, there will be 
beauty of form, and the blood will be adapted to 
such purposes, within the compass of the laws of 
nature, as were aimed at, provided recourse has 
been had from the beginning to select the finest 
models for the purpose. Such has been the practice 
in England for more than a century, and it is to 
strict adherence to these laws the British turf can 
show troops of blood-horses unrivalled in the world, 
equal in beauty to the noblest Arab, and superior 
to them in stature and power : they alone have power 
to excite the modern muse in a strain that Pindar 
would not have disowned, as Ave hcie show, in a frag- 
ment describing the Doncaster St. Lcger race : — 

" Again — the thrilling signal sound— 
And off at once, Avith one long bound. 
Into the speed of thought they leap. 
Like a proud ship rushing to the deep. 


A start ! a start ! they're oflF, by heaven, 
Like a single horse, though twenty-seven 
And 'mid the flush of silks we scan 
A Yorkshire jacket in the van : 

Hurrah, the bold bay mare ! 

A hundred yards have glided by 

And they settle to the race, 
More keen becomes each straining eye. 

More terrible the pace. 
Unbroken yet, o'er the gravel road, 
Like madd'ning waves, the troop has flow'd, 
But the speed begins to tell 
And Yorkshire sees, with eye of fear, 
The Southron stealing from the rear. 

Aye ! mark his action well ! 
Behind he is, but what repose ! 
How steadily and clean he goes ! 
What latent speed his limbs disclose ! 
What power in every stride he shows ! 
They see, they feel, from man to man. 
The shivering thrill of terror ran, 
And every soul instinctive knew 
It lay between the mighty two. 

These now are nothing, time and space 
Lie in the rushing of the race ; 
As with keen shouts of hope and fear 
They watch it in its wild career. 

' Who leads ? Who fails ? How goes it now .^' 
One shooting spark of life intense, 
One throb of refluent suspense. 
And a far rainbow-colour'd light 
Trembles again upon the sight. 
Look to yon turn ! Already there ! 
Gleams the pink and black of the fiery mare. 



Now — now — the second horse is pass'd. 
And the keen rider of the mare, 
With haggard looks and feverish care. 
Hangs forward on the speechless air, 
By steady stillness nursing in 
The remnant of her speed to win. 
One other bound — one more — 'tis done ; 
Right up to her the horse has run, 
And head to head, and stride for stride, 
Ne%\Tnarket's hope and Yorkshire's pride. 
Like horses harness'd side by side, 

Are struggling to the goal. 
Ride ! gallant son of Ebor, ride ! 
For the dear honour of the North, 
Stretch every bursting sinew forth, 

Put out thy inmost soul, — 
And with knee, and thigh, and tighten'd rein, 
Lift in the mare by might and main." 

DoNCASTER St. Leger, hy Sir Francis Doyle. 

In shape, the race-horse, if we except his supe- 
rior stature, is very like the noblest Arab; with 
similar eyes, ears, and head gracefully set on the 
neck, long oblique shoulders, high withers, power- 
ful quarters, hocks well placed under their weight, 
vigorous arms and flat legs, short from the knee to 
the pasterns, these long and elastic ; t!ie tail placed 
liigh, not superabundantly furnished with long hair, 
and the mane likewise rather thin and drooping : 
the colours of the blood-horse are bay, chestnut, 
brown, black, and grey, but never dun, Isabella, or 
roan: the black itself being a residue of ancient 
foreign alloy, derived either from the old English, 


the Spanish, or Barbary breeds. Such is the blood- 
horse racer; and since cultivation is spread over 
nearly every part of Britain, hunting is pursued 
with increasing speed, and thorough-bred horses are 
become necessary for the sports of the field ; * but 

The Hunter being required to carry heavy weight, 
with varied pace, through deep ground, or across a 
broken and stony country, demands stoutness and 
stature as high as sixteen hands, with lofty shoul- 
ders ; he must be habituated to going higher, leap 
fearlessly fences and ditches, be light in hand, and 
have sound, hard, comparatively broad feet; he 
must possess many qualities which are not of first 
necessity in a racer, but belong equally to the war- 
horse, — for both are the companions of their masters, 
and on their good qualities life, safety, and success 
are often dependent. The hunter and the charger 
ai'e not, however, in general thorough-bred, and the 
same may be said of the coach-horse, but all owe 
their beauty, power, and bottom, nearly without 
exception, to the quantity of high-bred blood they 
have in their pedigree. 

The Irish Blood-horse^ chiefly reared in the coun- 
ties of Meath and Roscommon, is large, but con- 
sidered as inferior in beauty; and the rest are in 
general smaller than the English. The race, though 
rather ragged and angular, possesses immense power, 
fire, and courage ; and there have been some, such 

* Steeple hunting, that sport alike reckless of the life of man 
and horse, is now perhaps the main cause of breeding steeds of 
first-rate powers, as well as first-rate speed. 


as Harkaway and others, that evinced first-rate 
speed. Irish horses exceed the English in leaping, 
not by stepping over lower obstacles or springing 
with a flight clear above a fence or lofty hedge, but 
by jumping gracefully, like deer, upon and then 
down a stone-wall or a bank, often considerably 
higher than their heads. 

The Queen's Bays, and the British light cavalry 
in general, are mounted on half-bred horses of the 
bay stock; and excepting in consequence of the 
mode of treatment at home, which renders them 
delicate in the vicissitudes of a campaign, they form 
the best chargers in the world. From half to three- 
quarters bred are also selected roadsters or the road- 
horse, the most difficult to meet with of any, and 
the hackney, which is a hunter on a reduced scale, 
or like our present Hussar horses. 

On the continent of Europe the introduction of 
high-bred horses from an Arabian stock is now also 
the practice. France and Belgium imitate the Eng- 
lish system, with some exceptions, as a fashion : in 
Wurtemburg and Prussia it is a government affair, 
steadily pursued ; but none have yet produced first- 
rate horses for the turf, or visibly ameliorated the 
native races. In Russia, however, where Toorko- 
man, Persian, Arab, Abassian, and Circassian horses 
were easily procured, the progress of improvement 
is more manifest, and even the Kirguise nomad 
tribes now possess horses of great powers and speed, 
no doubt the produce of a similar parentage as with 
us, introduced from the south. If reliance can be 


placed on newspaper report, we shall find the 
achievement of the horses at the races of Ouralisk, 
such as the fleetest and stoutest of English thorough- 
bred steeds will scarcely equal; for it is therein 
stated, that on the 29 th September, 1838, a contest 
of speed took place between the Oural Cossacks 
and the Kirguise Kaisaks, over a course of eio-hteen 
versts, said to be equal to thirteen and a half Eng- 
lisli miles ; the winners, for they were twins, on tlie 
course, ran neck and neck the whole distance, ar- 
rived at the winning-post in twenty-four minutes, 
thirty-five seconds, — and a Kirguise Kaisak black 
horse, ridden by the Sultan's son in person, went 
over the same distance in nineteen minutes ! * — 
These achievements, we may remark, took place in 
the very centre of the principal region where, in 
our view, horses were first subdued, and where all 
the original stocks appear to have sojourned at one 
time or other, in the first ages of our present zoolo- 
gical distribution. 

Of the old bay stock, we have seen at Munich 
the Life Guard Cuirassiers, mounted upon horses of 
Normandy selected by the Bavarian government, 
and taken in part of the indemnity paid by France 
in 1815-16 to the allied armies, and we never ob- 
served the royal guards of France so well mounted, 

* If we continue the present practice of wearing our noblest 
horses before they are fully arrived at maturity, it will be diffi- 
eult to prevent the reality of a degeneracy, which many sur- 
misf is aheady commenced. 


nor with their horses in such good order, as these 
were in German hands. 

In the more northern regions of Asia and Europe, 
the bay primeval stirps, including the domestic races 
of both regions, and extending to the Rhine, are all 
more or less intermixed with the black, the grey, 
and the dun ; they bear more particularly the form 
and characteristics of the last mentioned, and there- 
fore we shall revert to these more anomalous races 
when we review the smaller unassignable breeds. 


is one, as before observed, which resided and still 
resides in part on the territory where wo have 
noted it in the most ancient existing historical 
records. We have shown it on the plateau of 
Pamere, * on the steppes north of the Euxine, in 
ancient Armenia and Cilicia, and may add the 
country of the Argyppei, a nation, as the name im- 
ports, of riders on white horses, and as they were 
feeders on mulberries, may denote Kaubul or mo- 
dern Abassia, where there are still numerous herds 
and several high-bred studs of white and dappled 
grey horses, forming the majority of those men- 

* Touching the western border of the Kalkas, where the 
villous race is abundant. It is remarkable that the white horse 
of Vishnou should bear the name of Kaiki, 

■it I 111 


tioned among the Persian bays of Circassia. The 
dapplings, of a purer white than the general colour, 
seem to be a typical character of the grey stirps, 
marking the quarters and the shoulder more parti- 
cularly, and in general obliterated by blackish on 
the limbs. With age the colour becomes more 
white, and the animal's skin is of a light slaty 
blue; but there is a tendency to become roseate 
in some cases, and oftener to ladre^ or with smut- 
coloured stains, and in both cases producing albi- 
nism, or very pale cream, with the round dapples 
scarcely whiter, and then the eyes are often blue, 
and the region round them and on the nose flesh- 
coloured. The greys, however, are often without 
the light spots, and vary in shades to an inter- 
mediate neutral, tending to blue ; but usually the 
mane and tail are more or less mixed with black. 

The grey stock is naturally of a higher stature 
than the bay, and possesses, with greater breadth 
and more solid limbs, the contour of form whicli 
painters and sculptors more particularly delight in. 
It mixed at all times best with the noble bay of 
Western Asia, and it may have added to its stature 
and bone, when the breeds of Cilicia and Armenia 
came down to Egypt. It may be questioned whe- 
ther the white and grey races of Northern Africa 
and the Date region are descended from a primeval 
invasion from Central Asia, or are merely whitish 
in consequence of a law which in those burning 
climates operates in a similar manner upon rumi- 
nants, such as several species of Bovidce and Ante- 


lopidw, whose black hides are protected by white 
coats of hair ; yet if this effect were to be solely 
ascribed to the climate, it would not account for 
the dappled greys which are not uncommon in 
Morocco; all, however, are so intimately blended 
with the true Arab blood, that we have described 
them among the bay stock in our former pages. 

Whether from the nature of the food or the pre- 
sence of particular kinds of Hippohosca^ or Tahanus^ 
or horse-flies, the grey races in the east of Europe 
are subject to boils which produce great irritation. 
By a natural instinct, all tliese animals tear them 
open with their teeth ; and it is common, when 
they feel their blood heated, to do the same thing, 
and produce an effusion ; hence it is usual to find 
their shoulders raw and bloody. Even the horses 
of different colours, if they belong in part to the 
grey stock, have the same propensity. It is most 
observed in the Hungarian and in the grey Circas- 
sian breeds, upon which the Russians have several 
regiments superbly mounted. 

The grey stock having at all times excited atten- 
tion from its colour, and been regarded as a fit 
distinction for divinities and princes, * it is no 
wonder that many breeds should have been carried 

* The solar gods, Apollo, Odin, Crislma, the Persian mo- 
narchs, &c. all had possession of or access to the original 
location of the white stock of horses, and are represented to 
have used them. They dwelt on the Tanais, or came from 
Farther Thrace, from Armenia, or their legends came from 
quarters where the white horse was found. 


into distant regions. Thus a dappled grey race 
occupied the Pyrenean mountains, being perhaps 
the primeval companions of that Ouralian portion 
of the Basque tribes, which in their migration west- 
ward brought along that worship which it is well 
known contained a solar mystery, whereof some 
traces may still be found in the romances of the 
Graal Cyclus. "'' But whether the breed of the 
Lower Alps, and of the Caraargue, near Aries, form 
connecting links, is beyond the reach of satisfactory 
investigation, although we find, again ascending 
northward, the Ardenne greys, where St. Hubert's 
shrine long supplanted the worship of Arduenna, a 
type of Ertha, and resembling the Indian Durga, 
whose white consecrated animals were in the Pagan 
era devoted, and in the Christian long held as pecu- 
liarly patronized by the saint. Further on, at the 
Saxon altars on the Weser, those white or cream- 
coloured steeds, still esteemed, were once sacrificed 
to Woden, and at another sent in tribute to the 
Danes; and in the isle of Riigen, Pommeranian 
greys or white horses were again sacred to another 
divinity, probably another Ertha. The distribution, 
therefore, of the grey breeds and races seems to 
have a connexion with the local worship of ancient 
tribes and with their movements westward at the 
most early period, and might be further indicated 
by other facts of the same nature as those already 
cited. It is true that in several cases the stature of 

* See " Einleitung uber den Dichtungskreis des Hciligen 
Graals," in the LohengTun of J. Goixes. 


the local greys, such as the Pyrenean and the Ar- 
denne, is low, or reduced to the pony form ; but 
still there is in their proportions an indication of a 
larger sized animal, which immediately developes 
when crossed with another race, or when removed 
to a new locality. Thus the splendid breeds of this 
stock, which our Norman and Plantagenet princes 
formed by means of crossing the Pyrenean and Gas- 
con Lyards^ both in their continental possessions 
and in England, attest that with slight care the race 
immediately resumes its full development. Expe- 
rience has likewise shown, in all ages, how advan- 
tageously it was amalgamated with the bay in the 
East and with the black in the West, acquiring ail 
the elegance of the former and all the colossal bulk 
of the latter, with half-bred intermediates ; of one 
of these our enormous grey breed of brewers' horses 
is a sufficient proof ; of the other the ancient mous- 
quetaires gris in France and the Scots greys in 
England are likewise examples, without recurring 
to the Russian regiments mounted on Circassians. 


is most generally spread over Europe, and was at 
one time, it appears, wild, both in the Alps and the 
forests of northern Gaul, living in marshy woods 
from the Jura to the Seine, and spreading to the 
Ardennes, the Vogesian range, the Black Forest at 
the sources of the Danube, the Thuringian and the 



Hartz, but chiefly in the valleys of the Rhine, 
Meuse, and Scheldt. * Many indications, partially 
noticed in a former page, tend to conclusions that 
this form of the horse, with the mysterious proper- 
ties assigned to it, was indigenous in the West; 
but it must be admitted, that sooty races, more 
lightly made, extend over the Scandinavian penin- 
sula, and are scattered through Eastern Europe, till 
they reach Tahtary, where there are black breeds of 
great reputation. These may be considered to have 
been mounted by some of the invaders of ancient 
Egypt, or to have been conveyed to the Nile as 
tribute, after the first conquest of Remses in Asia ; 
for we find there are black horses in the hieroglyphic 
paintings, which may indeed have been of the Don- 
gola breed, but that this was itself unquestionably of 
Asiatic origin, whether it came across the Red Sea 
or by the Nile to where we now find it, resembling 
the Karahulo and Katchenski races of Central Asia 
in form, and even in their white feet, as we have 
before noticed. 

Among the present races of Asia, we find the 
Bashkirs possess one of a slaty black colour, with 
tanned muzzle and inside of the limbs; the hair 
does not grow to the length of the white villous 
race, but undulates with an indication of curling. 
The individuals we saw had large thick heads, full 
necks, and heavy shoulders ; the withers were rather 

* The whole vegetable mould of the above geographical stir- 
face is more than any other supplied with horse-bones and 
heavy teeth, most applicable to the black stirps. 


low, tbe back hollow, the barrel small, the mane 
heavy, but the quarters and limbs remarkably firm 
and clean. They were clearly of the same race as 
the specimen described by Frederick Cuvier under 
the denomination of " cheval a poll frize" wliich 
came from the stables of the Emperor of Austria, 
having been plundered by the French at the cap- 
ture of Vienna. We saw the individual in Baron 
Cuvier's possession at the Jardin du Roi, where the 
groom said it was a cross between a Bashkir horse 
and a French black. None of those that fell under 
our notice exceeded in stature a large mule, but 
they had much greater breadth at the hips, and 
with their short ears and sunken eyes, really looked 
like a low caste of French horses, excepting the 
legs, pasterns, joints, and hoofs. We attach no 
great importance to the character of the hair, having 
ourselves possessed a powerful roan with a similar 
coat, which had been purchased from a drove of 
horses, said to have come from the mountains above 
the Magdalena in Columbia : but regarding the co- 
lour and structure, if the original type of the stirps 
should be sought in High Asia, it is to this race 
that we would refer it. * 

In the West, that type is unquestionably the 
large-boned heavy Flemish or Belgian breed, almost 
invariably black, without any mark of white ; with 
a large head, clumsy limbs, short pasterns, broad 

* Johnstomis de Quadriipedibus seems to have intended a 
figure of this stock in his tab. v., under the name of Equus 
fiirsutus, but it is not described. 



hoofs, an excessive thick mane, and tlie fetlock not 
only profusely clothed Avith long hair, but a fringe 
of the same passing up the back of the legs to the 
knee-joints. There are studs of a lighter form, 
still retaining the characters of the type, but suffi- 
ciently elegant to have served formerly, and wc 
believe again latterly, for occasional remounts in 
our heavy cavalry regiments ; the head, however, is 
not so well qualified for the saddle as for draught, 
and it is from crossing the old English and Norman 
blood with Flemish mares that we have obtained 
our present splendid 

English Draught Horse. This class of horses, if 
it was not already imported in the Saxon era, was 
certainly introduced by the Flemish associates of 
William the Norman, who, in company with their 
Earl, obtained a large portion of the landed spoil at 
the conquest. Agricultural improvement, intro- 
duced from the same province at a subsequent 
period, no doubt increased the number of the large 
breed in England, so superior to the indigenous 
ponies : there are occasional indications of the fact 
in the Flemish archives during the Plantagenet 
dynasty. At present, in the west of England, the 
black breed of horses is far from improved ; but in 
the midland counties, the Lincoln and Staffordshire 
studs produce those broad-chested bulky animals 
so conspicuous in London, but slower even than the 

The Clydesdale are of a similar origin, but in 
maity cases preferable, because they have greater 


activity and more supple limbs; they are conse- 
quently not seldom used in private carriages. — 
Northampton, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cleveland have 
all breeds more or less resulting from the black 
stock, though their blood is mixed with Norman 
and the indigenous older races. Among all these 
heavy horses, there are specimens according to their 
kind of very great beauty, and stallions may be 
found that have been valued at four hundred gui- 
neas, or nearly the same price as a first-rate Arabian, 
in the English market. * 

Exclusive of the bays and greys already men- 
tioned, all our heavy cavalry was and still continues 
to be mounted on black horses ; but without chang- 
ing the colour, they are now of higher blood, and 
the Life Guards in particular are from half to three- 
fourths of the Arab stock. To the unwieldy old 
form, a lighter and more compact kind of charger 
has been substituted ; and it is rather a curious cir- 
cumstance, that while we have been reducing the 
standard of our cavalry horses, abroad, and in parti- 
cular in Russia, the government is making efforts to 
increase the size of its own. While the late Grand 
Duke Constantino ruled ii^ Poland, as we were 
informed by one of the chiefs, he raised the stature 
of all the Lancer horses. 

* M. Hazard, and after him Desmarets, assert that the 
great brewers' horses of London are of the Boulogne race o* 
France ; but beyond the mere occasional experiments made by 
breeders, no French horses, excepting of Norman blood, has 
met with consideration in England for more than a century. 


On the continent, the noblest bhick breed in 
Europe is the Friesland or Dutch, commonly called 
Hart-draoer^ or fast-trotter : they are from fourteen 
to sixteen hands high, with good necks and shoul- 
ders, full bodies, round prominent haunches, the tail 
attached rather low, and limbs sufficiently fine, 
fringed a considerable way up the tendon above the 
pasterns with longish hair : they have fire and 
temper, but generally want bottom, although we 
have formerly seen the Friesland Carabineers, and 
even the black Hussars of Eckeren, handsomely 
mounted upon them. Indeed, both the larger and 
smaller sized horses of this breed extended con- 
siderably into the Westphalian territories towards 
Holstein, and the Dutch, Hannoverian, and Hessian 
cavalry draw their remounts entirely from thence 
for the heavy, and from Holstein and Denmark for 
the light cavalry. Other studs are chiefly appro- 
priated for coach-horses, and are exported to France 
and Belgium. 

With slight variations in stature and form, the 
black stock extends into Germany, through Swabia, 
and by Alsatia, into Switzerland ; we find it again 
large and bony in Italy, about Bologna, Tuscany, 
and in the March of Ancona ; here, however, the 
breed becomes more modified by alliance with the 
ancient Sicilian and the more recent Spanish horses 
introduced at Naples. In Lombardy, the Hunga- 
rian and Turkish races have likewise influenced the 
better class of horses, and the princes of the country 
have exerted themselves of late with the same laud- 


able views, excepting at Naples, where the noble 
breeds of ancient times, Saracen, Norman, Hunga- 
rian, and Spanish, have gradually sunken almost to 
a level with the rest, and furnishing now only a 
few handsome carriage-horses. 

In France, where for ages horses do not seem to 
have been an object of steady national attention, 
they are never sufficiently abundant to mount the 
regular force respectably; and although there are 
real good horses in the kir.gdom, the provinces in 
general are overrun with lidets or ponies, and 
double bidets^ galloways comparatively worthless: 
the efforts of government, the formation of Haras^ 
and the liberal exertions of enlightened individuals, 
seem to have kindled little more than a temporary 
fashion for the display of equestrian paraphernalia 
and the excitement of imitation races; while the 
once vaunted breed of Limousin is all but extinct,* 
and the more ancient Navarrese and Guienne steeds 
are now without a representative worthy of the 
name. Yet, for draught, there are, in Picardj, 
horses very like the breed of Flanders, and there 
are others of the stock in Brittany and Normandy ; 
but that of Auvergne is perlijips the most ill-shaped 
of the whole, though in many points resembling 
the Francomptois, which is extensively employed 
in the land- carriage trade. From these general cen- 

* We saw, some years ago, specimens of the restored race ; 
they were black, tolerably well-shaiDed, but not improved by 
foreign noble crosses ; their number Avas still confined within 
the royal Harast 


sures Normandy and the environs of Paris may 
claim exemption, for, within a small circle at least, 
a real determination t^ obtain a race of high-bred 
horses seems to exist ; ^md that to some extent they 
will be worthy to compete with the eflforts made 
elsewhere in Europe, is sufficiently evident from the 
prominent part taken in the question by the heir to 
the throne. 

The black stock, reproducing everywhere in Eu- 
rope horses of a large stature, extends, with little 
intermixture, down the Danube and through Cen- 
tral Germany, Silesia, Moravia, and Bohemia, to 
the north side of the Balkan in Turkey. The three 
great military monarchies mount their heavy cavalry 
almost entirely upon breeds of that origin. They 
occur again in Asia, for we have already mentioned 
the Karaljulo race, so highly valued for speed and 
bottom among the Toorkomans and the Katschen- 
stzis of Eastern Tahtary, remarkable for a white or 
grey mane, tail, and feet, while the rest of the body 
is shining black. One or other of these, no doubt, 
produced the black horse which ran the course at 
the Ouralisk races in nineteen minutes. ^' In the 
mixture of the varieties, the black form may be 
found in a grey livery, but retains its owti when 
fused into the bay, or at most becomes dark brown ; 
but while the typical indications remain, clear bay, 
dun, or mouse colours never occur. In the chestnut 

* There is, nevertheless, in Eastern Asia, a prevalent opinion 
that black horses come from the "West ; from Fv.-lang^ which 
Father Jaubil translates, Europe. 


progeny, apparently brought to the south of Europe 
by the ancient Burgundians, the black characters 
are strongly marked, but this colour is anomalous 
wherever found ; it is one that has baffled our re- 
searches. It is seen to assume the shape of all the 
stirpes, and yet to be so fixed, that foals of a chest- 
nut dam by a black sire are most frequently without 
the least assimilation to the paternal colour, but 
wholly like the mother. 


is in our view the fourth stirp=, and perhaps even 
more distinct from the three already mentioned than 
the fifth or pied stem ; for, in the form and mark- 
ings there occur evident approximations to the Asi- 
nine group, never acquiring the h>fty stature of the 
black or grey, but always lower and proportionably 
longer, wnth more slender limbs, clean joints, and 
smaller hoofs. The dun is typical of the generality 
of the real wild horses, still extant in Asia, and the 
semi-domesticated, both there and in Eastern Europe. 
Beside the general form, th^ smaller square head, 
great length of mane, tendency to black limbs, it is 
known by the black streak along the spine, some- 
times, though very rarely, crossed by a second of a 
fainter colour on the shoulders, and often marked by 
black streaks on the hocks and upper arms. * 

* Beside the animal figured, Plate VI., we have seen but 
two others similarly marked with a cross bar ; but my friend 


The common chestnut, through all Temperate 
Asia and Eastern Europe, when bearing withal the 
dappled spots of the grey, in token of a twofold 
intermixture, still often shows, in the dorsal line, 
the colour of the legs, the general structure, and 
form of the mane and tail, his tendency to absorp- 
tion into the more indelible type of the dun, whose 
stock, subdivided into many races, everywbere recur- 
ring, shows the livery under the names of eelback- 
dun, tanned, mouse-coloured, light bay, cermno^ pelo 
de loho, &c., but always distinctly bearing the spinal 
streak down to the tail, even when deeply mixed 
with the noblest blood or divergent into the chest- 
nut or Alezan livery, where alone stature is deve- 
loped, and where, in the solitary instance of the 
Burgundian ancient race, that colour clothes forms 
belonging to the heavy black and draught horse. 

From the mountains of Scotland to the plains of 
Eastern Tahtary, from Iceland and Norway to the 
sierras of Central Spain, notwithstanding the cease- 
less intermixture with breeds of other origin, or the 
further decrease of stature from climate or want of 
food, these various shades of dun and the dorsal 
streak often reappear upon individuals among droves 
apparently all bay, or all sooty, without an ostensible 
cause, to the exclusion of grey and dappled, which 
are always the result of direct intermixture. 

In manners and characteristic intelligence, this 
type displays peculiarities not found in the larger 

and acute observer, N. Gabriel, Esq., informs me that he has 
found several in England. 


forms of horse, and in part at least they may be 
fairly ascribed to a different cerebral organization. 
Unlike the other types, the dun alone invariably 
husbands its strength and resources, never wasting 
them by untimely impetuosity or uncalculating re- 
sistance; ever provident in securing the moment to 
bite at food, or drink ; cautious, cunning, capable of 
concealing itself, of abstaining from noise, of stoop- 
ing and passing imder bars or other obstacles with a 
crouching gait, which large horses cannot or will 
not perform ; these, and many other peculiarities of 
their wild educational instinct, are reflected again 
upon all the races of the type, however diversified 
by mixture, so long as the prevailing feature of their 
stature remains, as all antiquity attest, and modern 
times daily witness in domesticated ponies, and 
above all, in the high intelligence of those which 
have been trained for public exhibitions. 

Although varying from circumstances, the dun- 
coloured stirps is pre-eminently attached to rocky 
and woody locations, always in a state of nature 
seeking shelter in cover, or security among rocks, 
where either are accessible ; it feeds upon a greater 
variety of plants than the others, and, contrary to 
them, residence in the open plains is rather an 
accessary condition than one of preference in their 
mode of existence. 

The dun, as before stated, was exclusively used 
by the ancient Median cavalry, and in chariots of 
war. It is still the principal stock of the wild races 
of Asia, and even of the Ukraine and Poland ; but 


ill a domesticated state, colour is so intermixed, tliat 
all the semi-wild breeds of Russia, Hungary, and 
Poland have a great proportion of their numbers 
bay, particularly since the Arabian conquests ren- 
dered this superior stirps more valued and accessible 
in the north. 

In their anomalous state, we shall now proceed to 
give a few details on the most remarkable of the 
smaller stock, wherever they may be found, and 
beginning with those of Northern Asia, we find, 

In China, exclusive of the pied horse, there is a 
race of mountain ponies, known by the name of 
Myautze^ which gallop down declivities at an angle 
of forty-five degrees, dash through woods and broken 
rocky ground without losing their footing, and are 
therefore highly prized by the Chinese officers for 
service. There is no notice of the colour of ^heir 
coats. We find also an ill- shaped sooty pony, with 
little spirit, and unfit for severe work; but the 
Tahtars possess, beside those already mentioned, 
brown, bay, and dun breeds of horses, full fourteen 
hands and a half high, with small square heads, 
long ewe necks, good manes and tails, and mule 
backs ; the barrel is of little girth, but they have 
clean and firm limbs, with small feet; and their 
sobriety, hardihood, and speed render them very 
valuable. Uniform chestnut and white breeds are 
scarcer ; these are reported to liave the form of more 
western horses, with high hips, and in common with 
others above mentioned, as well as with the follow- 
ing, they have habits of lightness and sobriety. 


In Khoten the horses are likewise small bu 
hardy, mostly geldings, reared by the Kalmuks 
they are from thirteen and a half to fourteen hand 
high, and great droves are exported towards the 
south, as far as the plains of India. 

The Bhooteahs are very beautiful rather shaggy 
ponies, not unlike the Siberian, commonly grey, 
white, or spotted ; their strength, courage, prudence, 
and surety of footing, in the precipitous paths of the 
highest mountains, are highly extolled. 

Of the Pickarrow ponies, apparently held in 
esteem among the British residents in India, we 
have found no description. 

The Yahoos^ or ponies of Afghaunistan, are the 
common travelling animals of the country, and 
though mixed with every race of the East, are of 
the original wild bay stock. 

Among them, as well as with the Hungarian 
horses, it was formerly the custom to slit the nos- 
trils, or rather, divide the septum, because that 
practice was said to facilitate breathing in violent 
galloping, and also to prevent the animals neigh- 
ing : the custom is not credited in the writings of 
several English authors, but although we have 
never seen an instance, we have at this moment 
before us a finished sketch of an Hungarian horse's 
^head by the celebrated Zoffani, where the operation 
is fully displayed. We here subjoin a reduced 
copy ; see Plate XXXI. 

The common Bashkir horse is short, compact, 
with a heavy head, broad- hipped, small-eyed, and 

lizars sc 


nearly allied to the curly- haired black horse before 
mentioned : they do not exceed thirteen and a half 
hands and are bred wild, requiring all the skill and 
daring to subdue the colts, Avhen captured, that is 
evinced by the South American Gauchos. 

There is no great difference in the horses of the 
Cossacks of the Don, the Oural, and of Siberia, ex- 
cept perhaps in size ; but in general they are rather 
low, raw-boned, meagre-looking animals, ragged in 
the extreme, and apparently unable to perform the 
work, bear the privations, and sustain the weight 
which they carry ; yet, taken all together, in good 
qualities, the Cossack races have resisted fatigue 
and all the incidents of war better than any other 
cavalry of the Russian empire, as was fully proved 
in the campaig-ns of 1812, 1813, and 1814; and 
recently, still more signally, in the terrible march 
towards Khiva. "We have never known them en- 
tering a stable from necessity, but in the severest 
weather they are occasionally sheltered from the 
blast by the Cossacks raising a bank of snow in a 
circle, with a fire in the middle to warm themselves 
and their ever-saddled horses behind them. The 
Donski appeared to us in general of dark brown 
and sooty bay colours; so also, as might be ex- 
pected, the common breeds of Russia, descended 
from intermixtures of the original stirps, have in 
many cases undetermined, or what has been termed 
foul liveries. 

The fast trotters are a breed in common use for 
hackney carriages and winter sleighs : their move- 


ment consists in trotting with the fore-legs and 
cantering with the hinder, proceeding at this rate 
fifteen or sixteen miles an honr. There are some of 
them higher bred that will go the pace of twenty 
miles, but how long they can keep it up is not quite 
satisfactorily ascertained. These animals are rather 
long for their height, very well shaped, with a 
square head, and mane so exuberantly long, that 
their masters knot them up to keep them from 
trailing on the ground. * 

This long-maned race is extensively spread to- 
wards the south into Poland, the Ukraine, and 
Podolia, there being, in the Dresden Museum, a 
stuffed specimen, of which we made a drawing; it 
had belonged to the last Saxon king of Poland, and 
had a mane which measured twenty-four English 
feet in length, and the tail thirty feet. A case of 
this kind must be taken, we think, as a result of 
Avhat may be termed disease, united with extraordi-; 
nary care in the grooming to foster the excessive pro- 

It is to this stirps that the wild horses of Tjithu- 
ania and Prussia, already described, unquestionably 
belonged ; and those of the great forest of Bialowitz 
have still in general the same characteristics of 
livery and form. In Plate VI. we have figured one 
ridden by a Russian Lancer officer, who stated the 
animal to be of Ukraine race of the wild stock ; we 
found it chiefly remarkable for the cross bar on the 

* Bay Pitsliock was lately noticed at Moscow for speed, 
pretending to thirty miles an hour ! We suspect, thirty versts. 


shoulders, distinctly marked, its vicious aspect, and 
for the close resemblance it bore to the description 
of the wild in colour, though in form there was a 
greater similarity with the Samogitian horses, being 
rather long than high, though extremely vigorous. * 
This stii'ps, therefore, approximates the Hemionus, 
Djiggetai, and Yo-to-tze in livery and markings. 

The Samogitian horses are small, compact, hardy, 
rather short- legged ; the Polish, somewhat loftier, 
have more blood, and are occasionally dappled grey. 
But there are dappled bays and dun-coloured, as 
well as dark chestnuts among them. 

In the Tzeckler mountains of Transylvania, there is 
a smaller sized dun horse, nearly in a state of nature, 
probably the remains of a wild indigenous race ; but 
in the plains a considerable intermixture of Turkish 
and Arab blood is found, which spreads likewise 
into Hungary. 

The Hungarian and Moldavian common race is 
small, dry, angular, with large eyes, small mouth, 
plane chaffron, open nostrils, no great carcase, slender 
neck ; but broad-chested, with firm legs, hard hoofs, 
and the tail rather low. This race extends into 
Styria, Illyria, and Dalmatia, and is evidently a 
mixed descendant of the horses brouglit by the 
mounted tribes which invaded the Roraan empire, 
partially improved by Turkish blood: we see this 

* Researches, subsoquently made among the Russian ca- 
valry, procured only two other horses marked with the cross 
bar ; in both it was less distinct, though the animals appeared 
to 'je of the same race as the above. 


in the great variety of colours the horses possess, 
but where dun, chestnut, and bay are predomi- 
nant. They are in general bred almost wild, being 
caught only for marking or for sale, when the art 
and energy required to subdue them is very much 
of the same character as that of the Tahtars and 
Cossacks in Russia and the Gauchos in Soutli 

In the Morea there is a race of unshorn small 
horses, driven down to Attica in herds for sale ; they 
have small heads and ears, thin jaws and narrow- 
foreheads, slendoi' arched necks, but with broad 
deep chests, slender firm limbs, oblique pasterns, 
and longish hoofs, grey and firm. They are exceed- 
ingly wild and vicious, running at dogs, and fight- 
ing with their teeth and fore-feet ; but it is probable 
that with good management they might be made 
excellent light-cavalry horses. The bay and chestnut 
colours predominate, and it is likely that their origin 
remounts to the early ages of Greece. 

Sweden and Norway likewise have small breeds 
of the ancient stock in CEland about twelve hands 
high, handsome, docile, and intelligent, though bred 
in the woods. Those of Western Nordland have 
the head rather large, the eyes prominent, the ears 
small, the neck short and breast broad, the body 
rather long, full and well ribbed up, tail and mane 
abundant : the arm of this breed is remarkably 
powerful, and the fetlocks Avithout long hair. Their 
colours are bay and brown to blackish. We saw 
the Hussars of Mbrner, another Swedish Hussar, and 



a liolit-draooon regiment, all respectably mounted on 
this kind of horse. 

Finland has a similar race, but still smaller, and 
the Norwegian, notwithstanding the opinion of Hor- 
rebow, may be safely regarded as the parent stock 
of the Iceland ponies, so renowned for enduring the 
excessive cold of an Arctic winter without the least 
protection of man. These resemble in almost all 

The Scottish or rather Shetland ponies, Plate XV., 
some of which scarcely exceed in size the stature of 
a large dog, and have been actually carried in a gig. 
Yet there are among them many handsome shaggy 
little animals, with huge manes and abundance of 
tail ; they are of all colours, but it is not difficult 
to perceive the original dun stock as forming the 
parent race. 

The Galloway, now no longer found in purity, 
was of the same character as the Swedish, though 
somewhat higher at the shoulder. In colour the 
breed was bay, with black extremities, mane, and 
tail ; but it has been suffered to disappear, though 
the name itself continues to be used for horses above 
the standard of ponies. In the north of England it 
is used for Welsh and New Forest horses, when 
they are about fourteen hands high. Many of these 
animals are of mixed breed, as is very perceptible 
by the head and body being often out of propor- 
tion, bulky for the length of the limbs ; but others, 
though shaggy, want not a certain degree of ele- 
gance, and are remarkable for speed as well as 


bottom. Thus, in 1754, one of these, belonging to 
a Mr. Corker, performed, without distress, one hun- 
dred miles a day, for three successive days, over 
the !Newmarket course. Another Galloway, be- 
longing to a Mr. Swelan, executed, at Carlisle, the 
extraordinary feat of going one thousand miles in a 
thousand hours. Among the New Foresters, there 
is a breed of blue-greys, with large dark spots. 

The Dartmoor and Exmoor are now also much 
adulterated, since the moors have been parcelled out 
and partly divided by stone- walls. Formerly this 
breed of horses bore all the characters of true de- 
scendants of the ancient British ; it was, and even 
now is, wild, daring, cunning, and intelligent ; 
always ascending towards the Tors or rocky preci- 
pices for safety, and often escaping by leaping 
down high blocks, or jumping over the pursuers 
when they were thought to be at bay. It was one 
of this race that started from London for Exeter 
with the mail, and notwithstanding the repeated 
changes and hard driving, accomplished the whole 
distance, being one hundred and seventy- tAvo miles, 
a quarter of an hour before the coach. Another, 
with a heavy rider, similarly outstripped the coach 
between Bristol and South Molten, a run of eighty- 
six miles. 

Of the Ardennes horses, and the Bidets and 
double Bidets of Brittany, some notice has been 
already taken, and the Asturian and other smaller 
horses of Spain were likewise mentioned; but we 
may add to the foregoing two races, which may be 


claimed by the Asiatic bay horse, or the Avild 
Koomrah of Africa, for they have been assimilated 
to both. The first is 

The Sardinia7i Wild Horse ^ found most abun- 
dantly in the territory of Bultei and of the Nurra. 
The best are found in the woods of Canai, in the 
islan*d of St. Antiochio. According to Cetti, they 
resemble the wild horses of Africa described by Leo 
Africanus ; they are very small, rugged, and gene- 
rally bay, with asses* feet, long tails, and short 
manes. " Whoever is inclined, after making an 
oblation at the church of the patron saint of the 
island, may proceed to hunt them according to his 
desire ; but the hides alone are worth having, for 
by nature the horses are so vicious, that no domesti- 
cation is possi])le; they perish in theii- desperate 
resistance, or tire out the patience of the captor." 
They were well known to the ancients. '^ 

In Corsica, the mountain pony is nearly tlie 
same ; but the domestic horse, like that of Sardinia, 
is about twelve hands high, with rounded form, 
flat head, and short neck, considerable girth of body, 
and small hoofs. 

Returning towards Southern Asia, Ave find in the 
East Indies the Tattoo, or native pony, shabby, ill- 
made, and neglected for ages; but gradually ac- 
quiring more of public attention since the bullock 

* Tliese horses are most certainly wild, never having been 
reclaimed at any period, not being v^^orth the trouble ; their 
unbroken freedom is as unquestionable as that of their com- 
panion the Mouflon. 


carriages or rutts have begun to be superseded by 
the kerrachee^ a four-wheeled vehicle on springs, 
now commonly serving at Calcutta for hackney- 
coaches. Tattoos are in general deep-bodied, with 
heavy heads, staring eyes, scraggy necks, fine limbs, 
cat-hammed, under thirteen hands high, bay or 
chestnut ; sometimes grey, or even piebald, and 
remarkably enduring : they are obstinate, vicious, 
prone to fighting, but easily maintained. 

Seringapatam and vicinity produces a similar 
small breed and but little improved, although dur- 
ing the reigns of Hyder Ali and Tippoo consideral)le 
pains were taken to introduce a better standard. 

Indo-China, a land of great rivers, high moun- 
tain ranges, and endless forests, is not known to 
have an indigenous horse. From the Burrampooter 
east, and from the tropic south, horses are reduced 
to ponies. Already, in Cassay, Ava, and Pegu, 
they are seldom above thirteen hands high, but they 
are spirited, active, and well-shaped. Further east, 
in Lao, Siam, and Southern China, they are still 
smaller and of inferior beauty. In Siam and Cochin- 
Ohina, although the diminutive ponies of the coun- 
try are ridden, there is no military cavalry. In the 
Malayan peninsula, the horse is not even yet natu- 
ralized. But the breeds of the great islands we are 
about to mention appear in a great measure to be 
allied to those of Indo-China and Yunan in China 
Proper, and are commonly designated by the name 



Of this class we find, first, in Sumatra, the Achin 
and Batta breeds, spirited, but small, and better 
suited for draught than the saddle. It appears the 
natives call them Kuda, and bring them down in 
numbers for sale, according to Mr. Marsden, who 
adds, that in the Batta country they are eaten for 

In Java the animal is somewhat larger, more a 
horse in form, but less gay, more shapeless, and 
more abstemious. Those of the plains are very 
distinct from the mountain breeds : the first is 
rather coarse, sluggish, and rises to the height of 
thirteen hands one inch ; the second is small and 
hardy : the Kuningam breed of Cheribon is one of 
them, and is often very handsome ; both are more 
used for drawing than riding, and although four 
ponies on the roads of the country will travel at the 
rate of twelve or fifteen miles, a pair of English 
post-horses will do the Vv'ork which requires three 
relays of the above mentioned four, and costs in 
maintenance only one-third. There is an inferior 
breed on the islands of Bali and Lombok. 

The Tamhoro and Bima breeds of Sambawa 
enumerate among their studs the Gunong-api, be- 
longing to the Bima ; it is reckoned the handsomest 
of the Archipelago, and extensively exported. Be- 
yond Sambawa there are horses found on Flores 
Sandalwood Island and Timor, but no further to 


the east, being unknown in the Moluccas and New 
Guinea. Next to Java, it is most abundant in 
Celebes, where the best of all the Saran race are 
said to exist, and where alone it is found in a wild 
state. We find horses, again, in Borneo and at the 
Pliilippine Islands. 

The different breeds vary in colour according to 
their localities; at Achin the ponies are piebald, 
but this distinction gradually disappears : the Bat- 
tas are mostly mouse-colour : in Java they are bays 
and greys ; roan and mouse-coloured are esteemed, 
and the worst are black or chestnut : duns, bays, 
and greys form the majority of the Bima breed, 
and greys and bays almost exclusively constitute 
those of Celebes and the Philippines. In Mr. More's 
notices of the Indian Archipelago, from which the 
above account of the Saran race is almost entirely 
extracted, some considerations are affixed in proof 
that the original breeds must have come from the 
main land of Asia : our own views, repeatedly re- 
ferred to in the foregoing pages, certainly coincide 
with his, and shoAv by the marks of the races, from 
what quarter it is likely they were first imported. 


Equus varius. Nobis. 


This form of the domesticated horse, which Vy-e 

have repeatedly pointed out to notice, appears to 

cl^im a distinct specific existence, in as much as the 


typical animal is found with its characteristic marks 
in a state perfectly wild, and it appears unmixed 
with wild horses of other shape or colours. We 
have hefore remarked that it was first observed by- 
Father Georgi on the northern declivities of the 
Himalaya range ; it was again noticed from report 
by D'Hobsonville, who describes the wild animal as 
below ten hands in height, in the winter dress, 
covered with long hair, and marked symmetrically 
with spots. In Bell's Travels, the wild asses' skins, 
curiously marked with waved white and brown, of 
which he saw many in his route near the sources of 
the Obi, skins which have puzzled succeeding natu- 
ralists, may indicate this animal. Another account 
refers to the wild spotted horses about Nipchou in 
Eastern Tahtary, being the size of asses, but more 
compact and handsome. Moorcroft, again, saw the 
species on the highest summits of Thibet, in their 
shining summer coats, and with their antelope 
fonns, scouring along in numbers ; and a Monsieur 
de Tavernier seems to allude to them in a recent 
notice of his travels to the wall of China. The 
Kiang of Moorcroft, which he insists is not the. 
Ghoor Khur, is evidently the same, as well as 
Dr, Gerrard's wild horse, mentioned in his observa- 
tions on the Skite valley. * " Horses," he says, 
" alone undergo the transition from the elevated 
pastures; but they lose the woolly covering that 

* Asiatic Researches, xviii. pi. 11, 247. We regret not to 
have had access to this work : it is probably also the Tangut 



invests the roots of their long hair." Comparing 
this animal with the domestic horse, he further re- 
marks, " both would appear to have the same origin, 
yet the circumstance of their eluding every attempt 
to tame them when caught, and their uniform 
speckled colour oifawn and ichite^ demonstrate them 
to be a distinct species." Our own correspondence 
with British ofl&cers, stationed in the higher parts 
of India, bears testimony to similar conclusion, do- 
mestication excepted, for the Kiang no doubt is 
amenable to the same laws as the rest of the genus, 
and indeed almost every other highly organized 
animal. Applicable to the present species, we be- 
lieve there is sufficient proof to view the great pro- 
portion of pied horses all over China, and even so 
far south as the Indian Archipelago ; and we con- 
tend, moreover, that to this form should be referred 
the steeds of the Centaurs, which we noticed as first 
penetrating westward, and were progenitors of the 
Thessalian. They are pointedly noticed in the Scrip- 
tures,* and again celebrated under the name of Par- 
thian, then, as ridden by the Tahtar conquerors of 
Saracen Persia ; they were extolled by the writers of 
the classic and the middle ages, sung by troubadours, 
figured in stained glass in the Indian illuminated 
battles of Aurungzebe, and immortalized by the 
pencils of Raffiielle, Titian, and Guide, who took 
their types of them from the Ardean, or, since 
called, Borghese breed ; which, however, has been 
latterly neglected, and we understand is now nearly 
* Zachariah, i. 8,, and other authorities before noticed. 


obliterated by newer forms of bay and black co- 
lours. * 

Although we possess a series of drawings of the 
pied form of horses derived from Indian, Tahtar, 
and European specimens, it is to be regretted that 
of the Kiang, in either his winter or summer garb, 
no trustworthy figure has reached us; we have 
therefore been compelled to ofi'er a specimen of one 
of the domesticated breeds, known, it appears, in 
India, by the name of Tangum race, which came 
from Sikim in Lower Thibet. It appears to be 
taller than the " Tanghans" of the hills near Kat- 
mandoo. See Plate VII. 

There is some variety in the stature and livery of 
these horses, the wild in general being the smallest, 
and having the greatest number of squarish clouded 
spots ; while the domesticated, similarly white about 
the limbs and part of the back, are marked by such 
large clouds of bay, that two or three spread over 
the whole body, head, and neck. In general the 
head is included in the bay colour, and where it 
comes down over the shoulder and the thigh, that 
colour deepens into black ; there is also a proportion 
of black and white in the mane and tail, not unfre- 
quently a black edging on the ears, and the eyes 

* See the anterior part of this work, where the breeds of 
antiquity and the wild horses are described. Pierre Vidal, 
who attended Richard Coeur-de-lion, speaks of them in his 
NoveUe, 1208. Guill. de la Ferte, 1221, stained glass in Notre 
Daree de Chartres, has a pied charger. Raffaelle, in his 
picture of Attila, frescos of the Vatican ; and the two other 
painters in their Auroras. 


are liable to be pale bluish or different: the horn 
of the hoofs is pale yellowish, with two or three 
slender, vertical, black streaks, and the frogs wider ; 
on the inner arm the callosities are large, but scarcely 
perceptible on the hind legs ; the hide itself is dull 
white or greyish, often spotted with a darker colour 
or ladre^ particularly on the inside of the thighs 
and nose. In form the Tangum stock is compact, 
rounded, somewhat fleshy, with rather large bone ; 
the head thick, though small ; the neck long, rigid, 
hut little arched, somewhat full ; the mane rather 
erect, and tail not superabundant ; short hair run- 
ning down the ridge of the dock, and long hair at 
the sides, it is set on low; the shoulders are well 
placed but thick, the withers rather full, the barrel 
round, with flank well ribbed up, the quarter full. 
Few rise to fifteen Jiands in height, and most are 
little above twelve or thirteen ; but they stand on 
rigid pasterns, have hard hoofs, vigorous sinews, and 
move with unflinching security through the most 
dangerous mountain precipices : they bear privation 
and fatigue with unconquerable spirit, have good 
speed and wind, and are very tractcible and docile. 

Although the Tangum blood mixes freely with 
the other stocks, its characteristic distinctions are 
sufficiently indelible ; as is proved by the foregoing 
description taken in India, being almost entirely 
correct when compared with the breeds of Europe ; 
although the last mentioned have been separated 
from the parent stock for many ages, and have been 
liable to unceasing crossings : personally we are 
only acquainted with the Prussian, Austrian, and 


Borghese, and in these, particularly the Borghese, 
we have a remarkable proof of the permanency of 
its characters, since, as we have before mentioned, 
it was evidently of ancient standing in the time of 
Yirgil, and nevertheless is not yet extinct. 

We have mentioned a cross breed among the 
black Kalmucks, one clouded with brown or sooty 
black, and with one or more limbs usually dark. 

There is another frequent among the Pindarrees, 
when it is a cross with the native Tattoos. We 
believe these to be the real Ghoonts found in the 
vicinity of Kalunga. 

There are in Spain horses of this kind, — Pio Ale- 
zan, Pio Castanno, and Pio Negro, — and from them 
may have sprung the skewbalds of Patagonia ; but 
these possibly descend from accidental causes, which 
we know operate sometimes in a similar manner on 
the livery of horses in England and elsewhere, but 
always with characters to be distinguished from the 
real Tangum stock. 

Finally, the skewbald breed of Achin in Sumatra, 
no doubt anciently brought across from the Malay 
peninsula, has likewise been mentioned. 

In Europe the race is now almost exclusively 
employed to mount trumpeters and military bands 
in Hussar regiments, and from their known aptitude 
and docility, as well as striking aspect, they are 
cherished for the exhibitions of equestrian perform- 
ances in the modem circus. * 

* There were, in 1815, some squadrons of Bavarian Hussars 
mounted on skewbalds. 



Equus hippagrus^ Nobis. 


This animal we regard as a distinct species of 
Equus, exclusively confined to the northern half of 
Africa, and, as far as it is yet known, nowhere 
abundant; from its somewhat equivocal structure, 
shyness, and mountain residence, though known to 
the ancients, a certain mystery has continued to 
hang around its history. In the writings of Hero- 
dotus, an undescribed animal, by him denominated 
Boryes^ we may suspect to be no other than tlie 
Bourra of Koldagi mentioned by Riippel, * and 
that they are the same as Oppian's Hippagrus. 
The two last mentioned animals being brown, horn- 
less, and maned, characters completely applicable 
to the Koorarah, and only partially observable in 
cloven-footed ruminants, which are confounded with 
this Equine species, both in the notices of the an- 
cients and the tales of the moderns. 

The Koomrah, in Northern Africa, is held to be 
a rare animal, a species of monster-mule between a 
mare and a bull, similar to the produce of the same 
kind known in Europe by the name of Hippotaurus^ 
which was believed to be a possible creature down 
to the middle of the last century, when the real 

* We beg to refer the reader to what is said of this specie* 
in the article on vrild horses. 






Hinny^ which we shall mention when we treat of 
mules, was pretended to be that monster. In truth, 
the Koomrah and Hinny are sufficiently similar to 
serve the purpose of an imposture, or of a wonder 
among the vulgar ; but the first is a wild animal, 
the second a scarce result of domestication. The 
name Kootnrah may be a Mograbin adaptation of 
the Arab Ahmar^ Koh-ahmar in Bereber, mountain 
horse, to the Negro term Koomri^ one denoting a wild 
Equine, the other a colour, white, as applicable to 
the snowy ridge south of the Niger named the 
Koomri mountains, where the animal is likewise 

Among the wonder-loving Arabs and Shelluhs, 
the Hippotaurine Koomrah is of course believed to 
be not unfrequently met with, not as a wild, but as 
a domestic animal; occasionally a dwarf kind of 
Hinny is shown as such, and hence there are greys, 
which then answer the descriptions of some travel- 
lers and correspond with the meaning of the Negro 
word Koomri ; and as we are informed by a friend, 
there are others of a black colour, one of which he 
saw, when it was on the way to Constantinople, a 
present from the sovereign of Morocco to the Grand 

Of the wild and real Koomrah we have seen a 
living specimen in England, and the skin of ano- 
ther ; the first came from Barbary, the second died 
on board a slave-ship on the passage from the coast 
of Guinea to the West Indies in 1798, the skin, 
legs, and head having been carefully preserved by 


the master, who permitted a sketch and notes to be 
taken of it at Dominica. 

The Koomrah of the mountains is about ten or 
ten and a half hands high ; the head broad across 
the forehead and deep measured to the jowl, is 
small, short, and pointed at the muzzle, making the 
profile almost triangular ; instead of a forelock be- 
tween the ears, down to the eyes the hair is long 
and woolly; the eyes are small, of a light hazel 
colour, and the ears large and wide ; the neck thin, 
forming an angle with the head, and clad with a 
scanty but long black mane; the shoulder rather 
vertical and meagre, with withers low, but the croup 
high and broad ; the barrel large, thighs cat-ham- 
med, and the limbs clean, but asinine, with the 
hoofs elongated ; short pasterns, small callosities on 
the hind-legs, and the tail clothed with short fur for 
several inches before the long black hair begins. 
The animal is entirely of a reddish bay colour, with- 
out streak or mark on the spine, or any white about 
the limbs. We made our sketch at Portsmouth, and 
believe it refers to the same animal, which lived for 
many years, if we are rightly informed, in a pad- 
dock of the late Lord Grenville's. There was in 
the British Museum a stuffed specimen exactly 
corresponding in colour and size, but with a head 
(possibly in consequence of the. taxidermist wanting 
the real skull) much longer and less in depth. The 
other specimen, which came from the mountains 
north of Accra in Guinea, was again entirely simi- 
lar. We were told that in voice it differed from 


both horse and ass, and in temper, that which died 
on board ship, though very wild and shy at first, 
was by no means vicious, and fed on sea-biscuit 
with willingness. 

It would appear that this species is not gregari- 
ous in Africa, but an inhabitant of mountain cover, 
and always desirous of the shelter of the woods ; it 
comes down to the wells and drinking-springs alone 
or in small families, and is there liable to be way- 
laid by men, the great felinae, and hyaenas; but 
there is no want of courage in its defence, biting 
fiercely ; and having a very delicate sense of smell, 
danger is avoided by the wariness of its actions and 
the readiness of its rapid retreat up the mountains. 


See page 302. 


Although there are no A^ery prominent external 
differences, the eye of the most superficial observer 
is almost always sufficient to distinguish this se- 
condary and less elegant form of Equidae from the 
Caballine species already described. We have al- 
ready remarked on the conflicting opinions of natu- 
ralists, whether the two forms should be separated 
by generic names; and though we adopt the ar- 
rangement of Mr. Gray, it is because it is viewed 
by us as more advantageous in a natural system of 
classification to refer the species of minor groups to 
their common centres, than to insist on the necessity 


of creating genera for every trifling structural varia- 
tion that may be detected. 

There is an evident tendency in both, not only to 
approximations, but even to actual interchange of 
some prominent external distinctions. In the wild 
horses of Asia, a highly arched forehead and length- 
ened ears are often very observable. "We have de- 
scribed and figured a specimen of the eelback dun 
stock, not only marked with the spinal dark streak 
and bars on the limbs, but actually with a cross on 
the shoulders : again, the first species of the present 
group will be shown to have the head of a high-bred 
blood-horse and the cross on the shoulders like the 
onager, but totally different in relative proportions 
from the Persian wild ass, which is very commonly 
destitute of that mark. In a wild state, both groups 
are nearly of the same size. If there be more than 
one species domesticated in the first, so there are 
also in the second ; all, no doubt, can and have been 
subdued by man, and it might be suspected that 
there has been even an intermixture sufiicient be- 
tween both, for the sympathetic action of transfer- 
ring the marks and the livery of one to the other, 
and in some cases perhaps to perpetuate them. 
Excepting some slight structural characteristics, the 
chief distinctions between the horse and asinine 
groups evidently lie in their instinctive aptitudes ; 
one being highly irritable and educational, with a 
social temperament, the other dull, intractable, soli- 
tary, seems to bear the unceasing impression of his 
servitude alone. Like a slave, the sensual appetites 


remain nevertheless in great vigour, and the males 
of the asinine group diifer particularly from horses 
in their mode of fighting with the teeth instead of 
the feet ; for, in a wild state, it was observed by the 
ancients and confirmed by more recent information, 
that they destroy or disable each other, so that 
males are comparatively rare. For the same reason, 
in domestication, it is held dangerous to allow a 
male ass to pasture in the same field where there is 
a stallion. * 

The ass tribe has long ears, a short standing mane, 
and the tail furnished with only a tuft of hair at the 
end ; the hoofs form oval impressions, and sustain 
short rather rigid pasterns ; the limbs are clean and 
firm ; the croup narrow, and often more elevated 
than the withers ; there are callosities on the ante- 
rior legs only, and the hide is more dense and callous 
than that of the horse ; yet none of the group can 
sustain the same degree of cold, although they ap- 
pear more insensible to intense heat, and are found 
wild in Africa as far south as the line. The typical 
colours of their livery are silvery grey and tawny, 
in a wild state never passing into black or complete 
white ; they have mostly a dark dorsal streak, less 
distinctly seen in the females, and sometimes en- 
tirely wanting in both sexes, while bars on the 
joints are not uncommon, and a cross line on the 

* Aristotle had observed that the more powerful males 
attack the weaker. — " Tandiu ilium persequuntur donee asse- 
cuti ore inter posteriora crura inserto testiculos ejus evel- 


shoulders is occasionally double. It is said of some 
in Africa that they never drink; they are known 
to be in their food still more sober than horses, and 
more easily satisfied with thistles and other thorny 
plants : in their habits they are cleanly, and fond of 
basking in the clean heated sand of the desert, where, 
though they want not courage, vigilance, and speed, 
they afford the common subsistence of the larger car- 
nivora ; for, in the absence of man, the lion, hyasna, 
and lycaon, or marafeen, appear chiefly destined to 
maintain the balance ; and where wild Equidae are 
found in the South, one or more of these are sure to 
be in their vicinity. 

In the ancient history of these animals, more 
than one species appear to be confounded, and even 
at present the differences between them are not 
satisfactorily cleared up, if not altogether overlooked 
by travellers. In the earlier languages, zoological 
names of animals Avhich have been recently acquired 
are commonly borrowed from others already fami- 
liarly known, or from some fancied similarity which 
after times seldom confirm ; thus the Romans applied 
the name of Lucanian bull to the first elephant they 
saw, and the South Sea islanders called the first 
horse landed on their shores a pig or a great dog : 
in Celebes, the horses now feral still bear, among 
other native names, that of buffalo. Adjectives, as 
names, are slow in acquiring a strictly defined mean- 
ing; a carrier may still designate a pigeon or an 
errand-man ; and thus the same epithet in Hebrew 
was long applicable alike to a horse, an ass, the He- 


mionus, and perhaps a dromedary ; hence, what has 
been translated an ass in Isaiah and Herodotus, or 
actually so named in Pliny, Strabo, and Arnobius, 
may in some cases, with good reason, be regarded as 
applicable only to the Hemionus. Thus, where 
asses are made to draw chariots for war and peace 
by the Caramanians, and even the Scythians ; and 
again, in the painted sculptures of Egypt, where 
chariots occur drawn by short-eared animals, which 
nevertheless have the cross on the shoulders, asinine 
tails, and in stature equal the figures of horses, we 
must refer them, not to the small thick-headed 
Hamar of the desert or Ghoor of Persia, but to the 
Onager, or to the Hemionus, which we shall see is 
still domesticated in some parts of India.* 

It is no doubt to these larger and nobler animals 
that respect was paid in the earlier ages as types of 
abstract ideas. The Arabs had an asinine divinity 
named Yauk, and Tartak, one of the gods of the 
Avim, was most likely figured like an Onager; 
though it may be suspected that several of these 
animal forms were not personifications but attri- 
butes or companions of deities, similar to those we 
still find figured behind Indian idols. To the voice 
of the wild ass repeated allusion is made in the 
Scriptures, and that of the prophet crying in the 
wilderness, has reference to the impression which 
the solitary cry of the tenant of the desert creates 
on the mind of human wanderers when traversing 
his haunts. It is even doubtful whether the belief 
* See wood- cut at the head of this article. 


of the heathens, that the Jews woihipped an ass's 
head, or the blasphemous absurdity of the Onoel 
form holding a book, with the motto, " Deus Chris- 
tianorum Menechytes," was not more the delirious 
act of hieroglyphical emblematisers of that Gnostic 
sect which strove to unite Christianity with Pagan- 
ism, rather than the result of absolute malice ; cer- 
tain it is, that in the circles of Behemoth, figured 
by the Ophites, the last genius, or Eon ? is deno- 
minated Onoel and pictured with asinine forms. 
Evidently, when Mirvan II., the last Caliph of 
the Ommiad line, was distinguished by the title 
of Hymar-el-Gezirah, or the wild ass of Mesopo- 
tamia, no disrespect was meant to his person ; nor 
in the memorable declaration of Jacob, where Issa- 
char is compared to a strong ass between two bur- 
thens, for it became an emblem and probably an 
ensign of his tribe. Similar ideas of respect were 
attached to the figures of asses on the shields of 
several Roman legions of the third century, repre- 
sented in Pancirolus ; to the Borak banner of the 
first Babylonian Caliphs, and to those borne on the 
ensigns of ancient Naples and Vicenza. 

It is to be regretted that travellers of talent and 
education have paid so little attention to minutiae in 
their accounts of the wild species of the asinine 
form, and thereby confounded one with the other : 
such, among others, is the description of a wild ass 
from the Cape of Good Hope, seen by Bishop He- 
ber at Barrackpore, in the menagerie of the Gover- 
nor-general of India, led about almost choked with 

304 THE yo-TO-TZE. 

its bridle. " It is extremely strong and bony, of 
beautiful form, has a fine eye and good counte« 
nance, and though not striped like a zebra, is beau- 
tifully clouded with diflPerent tints of ash and 
mouse-colour." * Is this a mistake as regards the 
native couutry ? For the description appears to 
apply to a real Kiang of Central Asia, and there is 
no indigenous unstriped Equine animal in South 
Africa ; or if it refers to the Onager or Ahmar of 
the northern part, how did it escape so enlightened 
an observer that it was of the same species with the 
wild ass of Cutch, the Ghoor-Khurs of Persia, and 
Djiggetai of the Mongolese ? 


• Asinus equuleus. Nobis. 


"We have hesitated long whether the present animal 
should not be placed with horses, for the external 
appearance is so intermediate, and even the voice, 
as we were informed, so much a compound of neigh- 
ing and braying, that it may be most proper to con- 
sider its location with this group as only provisional. 
The specimen here figured was drawn by ourselves 
at the request of the late Sir Joseph Banks^ who 
obtained from Earl Rivers information that there 
was an undescribed species of diminutive horse 
brought from the Chinese frontiers north-east of 
* Vol. i. p. 39. 

^' ^-^ 


Calcutta, and was then to be seen in a livery stable 
near Park Lane. We give, with the sketch, the 
notes made at the time. 

" The animal was a male, by examining the teeth, 
not quite four years old, and was somewhat under 
three feet in height at the withers ; the head eleven 
inches and a half from the fore-top to the under 
part of the nostrils, with a straight profile, very small 
mouth, delicate nostrils, and deer-like aspect resem- 
bled that of a noble Arab ; excepting that the eyes 
displayed less fire and more cunning, and the nos- 
trils opened a little lower ; the ears were only four 
inches long, with the tips suddenly contracted and 
then again slightly dilated ; their insides white, the 
upper third black; the neck was CAve-like, with a 
coarse abundant mane, longer than in the ass, but 
still standing upright. Compared with its general 
size, the barrel was full, very closely ribbed up in 
the flank, but the withers, shoulder, croup, hams, 
and legs were asinine, with short rather vertical 
pasterns and round, more than oval soles of the 
hoofs ; the tail, not reaching the hocks by six inches, 
was scantily supplied with long hair nearly to its 
root, resembling that of a rat-tailed horse; there 
were warts on the inner arms, but none on the 
hind-legs ; all the limbs clean, yet very strong. It 
was entirely of a yellowish red clay colour, except- 
ing black tips of the ears, the mane, and long 
hair on the tail, a well defined line along the back 
extending dovni the middle of the tail, crossed by 
a broad bar of the same colour over the shoulders, 



three or four cross streaks very distinctly marked 
over the knees and hocks, the cannon joints brown 
and the fetlock and pasterns down to the hoofs 
black, the hoofs and hide dark, the eyes brown." 
The groom informed us that its voice was a kind of 
horse neigh ; terminating with a roar like the lower 
tones of an ass's braying. There were on the back 
two white marks evidently the effects of a saddle, 
attempts having no doubt been made to ride it in 
India ; where the sons of grandees are very com- 
monly placed on the backs of ponies, young stags, 
hinds, little oxen, and even sheep. There was an 
appearance of considerable docility in its manners, 
which induced the groom to throw his leg across its 
back and canter up the stable yard ; the man was 
certainly much heavier than the beast he rode, but 
it took him along to the end, and then with a wild 
fling pitched him on a dunghill, and came back at 
a trot, stopping by us with perfect gentleness. We 
were here again told that it came from some part 
of Chinese Tahtary. 

Notwithstanding the striking difference of the 
head, tail, livery, stature, and voice, we doubted 
this individual being merely a variety of the Onager 
or Djiggetai, until we saw living specimens of the^e 
animals, when there appeared sufficient reason to 
regard the Equuleus as distinct and identical with 
the Yo-to-tze of China, provided that in that country 
not more than one species is included under the 
name. Should the wild ass of the Deccan in Cen- 
tral India, described by Colonel Sykes as not larger 


than a mastiff, be of the same species, the fact would 
prove another instance of the uncertainty we are 
thrown into by naturalists asssuming that approxi- 
mate resemblances are sufficient to warrant the con- 
clusion of a community of species : travellers and 
sportsmen, amid the many other causes of indif- 
ference, are thereby induced to regard the question 
as settled, neglect detailed descriptions, and continue 
the duration of ignorance. 


Ast7ins onager, Xobis. 


The concluding remark in the former paragraph is 
aoain verified in the accounts of the Onaojer and 
Hemionus, both of Avhich are confounded by modern 
writers, and none of the late travellers who noticed 
wild Equidae, have given more than such slight re- 
ferences, that whether they indicate species of the 
horse or of the asinine group, whether the Koulan 
is the Ghoor Khur, the Asinus silvestris, the Ha- 
mar, or the Djiggetai, remains absolutely uncertain. 
Mr. Pennant describes from Pallas an animal under 
the name of Dshikketai, wild mule, and Equus he- 
mionus^ and gives the figure of the Petersburgh 
Transactions, xix. 394, tab. 7, '^'^'ith a cross bar on 
the shoulder, wdiich we consider was drawn from the 
Koulan. Shaw takes no notice of the Koulan ; yet 


the Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles makes that 
animal identical with the wild ass, but then there 
is a species or race of wild asses of Persia without 
the cross on the shoulder of the males, and therefore 
wanting in the females : thus there would appear to 
be no distinction between the two, but that one is 
deficient in two of the usual number of teeth in 
Equidae, and has a neighing voice, while the other 
invariably brays and has the same dentition as the 
ass : that the former seeks the plains and the latter 
the mountains. Thus the Djiggetai, Hemionus, Mu- 
lus Dauricus, Cappadocius, Kitscharah, and D'Jhen- 
gli-Kitscharah appears to be that species which is 
without a cross on the shoulder, or at least is but 
imperfectly marked with one and is provided with 
an evanescent spinal streak usually bordered by a 
white line ; while the other is the wild ass or Kou- 
lan of the Kirguise, Bucharians, Kalmucks, and 
Northern Persians, the Ghoor-Khur of Afghaunis- 
tan and the banks of the Indus, and partially the 
Kuhr or Ghur of Western Persia, where it is con- 
founded with the Hamar or Ahmar, Djaar of the 
Arabs and Mograbins, and Daja-Ischake of tlie 
Turks: it is the Baja Mural of the Tahtars, was 
certainly known to the ancients by the name of 
Ovay^og, Onagrus^ and was sometimes confounded 
with the Hippagrus or Equiferus. We have there- 
fore restored to the species the name of Asinus 

The Koulan is about twelve and a half hands 
high at the shoulder and thirteen and a half at the 


croup; the length from nose to tail exceeds seven 
feet ; the head is large, the forehead arched, the 
nose sloping down to the lips and thick ; the ears 
pointed, nearly ten inches long, very erect, and 
moveable; the eyes small; the neck slender, fur- 
nished with an upright mane, and the tail, like that 
of the domestic animal, is two feet and a half long ; 
the body is comparatively small in girth, with the 
ridge of the back sharp, the thighs cat-han«ned, 
and the limbs fine, with narrow hoofs, hard on the 
edges, and hollow in the sole ; the mane, line along 
the spine, cross on the shoulder, and tuft at the end 
of the tail dusky and dark brown : the general 
colour of the fur is a silvery grey, passing to white 
on the belly and limbs ; but the head, neck, shoul- 
der, flank, and haunches are pale Isabella or flax- 
colour: there are callosities on the inside of the 
arms; the cross bar is sometimes double on the 
shoulder, and commonly is wanting in the females, 
who are always smaller and more slightly made. 

The species inhabits the dry mountainous parts of 
Great Tahtary up to the forty-eighth degree of 
north latitude, but only in summer returning south- 
ward with the change of season, whole herds being 
seen in motion as far as the deserts of the Lower 
Indus, but spreading chiefly in the eastern provinces 
of Persia,* where their venison is highly prized, and 

* Migration from Tahtary to India and Persia is scarcely 
possible : there are no passes from Thibet across the Hima- 
layas; that which the Indus offers, if frequented by th«8e 
animals, would long since have led the nations around to way- 


tlie chase of them, from the time of Rustum to the 
l^resent, has always been held the pastime of heroes 
and princes. It was in hunting the Gour or Guhr 
that Baharam V. perished, and Oleariiis still speaks 
of a number of them being slain in his presence by 
the Shah and his court. 

The manners of this species are very similar to 
those of the wild horse and Djiggetai, like them 
forming herds under the guidance of a leader, and 
with similar distrust watching and escaping from 
the presence of danger; but the curiosity of the 
males is greater, for in their flight they stop and 
look round, resuming their speed to stop and look 
again ; perhaps, indeed, from want of wind to con- 
tinue a protracted pace without interruption. They 
are mountain animals, invariably seeking refuge 
among precipices, which they ascend with ease, 
looking down upon the pursuers when they have 
reached the summit and believe in their security. 

The Ghoor-Khur of Ladakh, according to Moor- 
croft, is white about the nose and under the neck, 
the belly, and legs ; the back is light bay, and the 
mane dun : they herd in droves, fly at a trot, stop, 
look back, and then fly ofi" with wonderful speed 
and wildness, being never taken alive. The same 

lay them in their passage : over Hindukoh they could not 
come ; further west the Jaxartes and Oxus intervene, and the 
asinine group are not swimmers : the niigTation is probably 
only a few hundred miles either way, about Tomsk, and simi- 
larly on the south of the great chains do^\'n the Indus. The 
species or races of Africa and Western Asia do not migrate, 
excepting in following the herbage. 


animal is common in Khoten and in the country of 
the Kalmucks; everywhere observed to have tlie 
females numerous in proportion to the males, who 
are accused of that species of hostility, already 
mentioned, M^hich destroys or greatly reduces their 
numbers. This species is noticed in the book of 
Job, and described with the same manners it still 
retains in Cutch, where Bishop Heber found it the 
size of a galloway, beautiful and admirably formed 
for fleetness and power, apparently very fond of 
horses, and by no means disliked by them, in which 
respect the asses of India differ from all others of 
which he had heard : the same fact had been told 
him of the wild ass of Rajpootana. " No attempt 
has been made to break the wild ass in for riding, 
nor did it appear that the natives ever thought of 
such." In another place this learned and excellent 
man remarks that the Cutch species has the cross 
stripe on the shoulder and differs in colours and 
heavier proportions from the wild ass of Kerr Porter, 
and suspects that it may not be the ass but the 
Onager (Hemionus) or wild mule, " a name which 
I have also seen written Angra." These doubts of 
the Bishop's are certainly legitimate, as we also 
entertain them respecting some of the above men- 
tioned Ghoor-Khurs. 

The Ahmar or wild ass stock of Northern Africa, 
and probably the Djaar of Arabia, the theme of 
glowing imagery in the inspired language of the He- 
brew prophets, the object of curiosity in the Roman 
shows of wild beasts, whose colts under the name of 


Lalisiones were extolled as delicious food for the 
tables of epicures, appears to be the same species, 
slightly differing in colour. ^' The species is said to 
have once been found in the Canary Islands ; it is 
mentioned by Leo and Marmol, occurs on the Nile, 
above the cataracts, and is abundant in the upland 
plains, between the table hills below Gous Regein 
and the Bahar-el-Abiad in Atbara.+ It is most 
likely that which we find figured among the paint- 
ings of ancient Egypt in the yoke of a chariot, and 
we have already represented ; agreeing in all respects 
excepting the ears, which may have been cropped at 
the time that its sexual character was hkewise 
annihilated. We have seen a pair of these animals 
brought from Cairo ; they were equal in size to an 
ordinary mule, neatly if not elegantly formed, white 
in colour, but silvery grey on the ridge of the back 
and nose, with the forehead, neck, and sides of a 
beautiful pale ash with a tinge of purple, the mane, 
tail, and cruciform streak black. 

Both the stocks of Eastern Asia and of Africa 
were confounded by the Romans, and generally by 
them named Onager : of one or both Yarro remarked 
that they were easily tamed, and the domestic ass 

* Pliny says those of Africa were esteemed the best for the 
table :_ 

" Cum teller est Onager, solaque Lalisio matre 
Pascitur : hoc infans, sed breve nomen habet." 

Mart. xiii. 97. 

+ See Voyage on the Bahar-el-Abiad by Adolphe Linant, 
and Hoskins's Travels in Ethiopia. 


never became "vvild again: Pliny states that the 
domestic breeds were always improved by cross- 
ing with wild animals. It is unquestionably from 
these also that the fine race of Egypt and Arabia is 
derived, for there is here again a suspicion that the 
low smaller domestic breeds of Asia are not of the 
same origin, but derived from 

The Hymar, or Hamar (Plate XIX.), probably 
the real Chamor of the Hebrews, and was first 
figured by Sir R. Kerr Porter. It is justly re- 
marked by Bishop Heber, that this animal differs 
from the great wild ass, Ghoor-Khur, or Djiggetai, 
being smaller, with proportionably a large ugly head, 
no streak or cross on the shoulders, and having a 
dirty bay livery ; it appears to be more solitary than 
the former. The habits of stopping may be chiefly 
applicable to this animal, when pursued on the open 
plains of IVIesopotamia and the provinces bordering 
the two rivers. It is no doubt the animal Xenophon 
particularly mentions to have been seen by him, like 
the Zebras of the south, in company with ostriches, 
when he traversed the same region. Though con- 
founded at present, it is probably one of the several 
designated in the Scriptures. * From this stock the 
small little valued domestic asses of Ispahan, per- 

* The Emperor Philip, after his campaigns in INIesopotamia 
and Armenia, exhibited only twenty Onagri in the shows of 
Rome, which, had the gregarious kind been within his reach, 
he would scarcely have deemed sufficient ; for being by birth 
an Arabian, he had every inducement to procure them. See 
Pomp. Lsetus, 1. i. 


haps even as far as Beloochistan in India, may be 
chiefly derived ; though not unmixed, for towards 
the east, the cross on the shoulders is most frequently 
wanting. AVhether the foregoing be of one original 
species or of several, certain it is, that both the 
African and Persian may be traced in the domesti- 
cated species, and that a small insignificant animal, 
as compared with the present Arabian ass, is already 
found figured among the earlier pictures of ancient 
Egypt. * 

Asimis domesticus. 

It may be questioned whether both the wild ass 
and the Hemionus have not contributed towards 
the formation of the domestic breeds. Aristotle 
and Pliny assert the advantage of crossing the 
tame animal with the wild, and neither seem to 
have been aware that there were two species in 
their time still wandering free in Syria; indeed, 
Sir R. Kerr Porter's wild ass may be a deteriorated 
race of Hemionus, and have partly furnished the ru- 
fous small breeds, and the African the large bluish. 
The domestic ass, if not of this parentage, is then a 
mixed breed between the African and Persian, 

* At Beni-Hassan. 

t Borello^ Arabic ; Bouriqtie, French ; Tusandunt of the 
Slielkihs J Pico in ancient Egypt. 


cliiefly derived from the first mentioned, the marks 
on the shoulders and the common bluish ashy fur 
being taken as indications of the inference. All 
the races of the species are most distinguished by 
their profound degradation, heavy dull aspect, thick, 
slouching, long ears, and stiff walk. They are 
patient and laborious, slow and obstinate ; mankind 
thinking every where that no care or kindness is 
due to them in return for services ; no wonder they 
are both slow and vicious. It is a mistake to be- 
lieve in their unlimited resignation to indignity; 
when offended, they give warning by drawing back 
the lips and showing the teeth ; an insult is repelled 
by a kick, but a more grievous injury by biting ; 
and when roused by danger, asses will fight with 
skill and obstinacy. In distress they bray with an 
accent of despair ; and we have personally wit- 
nessed, on an occasion of grievous torment inflicted 
upon one by inhuman schoolboys, the animal, after 
proclaiming his sufferings, attack and route his 
enemies with the energy of a lion. Though the 
species is libidinous, it is also sober, and of such 
strength, that no domestic animal, in proportion to 
its bulk, can carry a greater weight, or continue to 
labour longer without sustenance. The ass is em- 
phatically the poor man's horse in every country ; 
and if care were taken of the breed, and well se- 
lected animals imported from Arabia, perhaps from 
tlie province of Oman, or of those of the white breed 
of Zobeir near Bussorah, there is no doubt that in 
the sandy districts of Northern Australia, a very 


useful and handsome race miglit be reared, valu- 
able to the poorer settler, and instrumental in work- 
ing out the civilization of the natives. ''^ 

It is singular that the wild ass of Tahtary should 
be able to resist a temperature of climate in winter 
more severe than that of Norway, where the do- 
mestic is with difficulty maintained ; and if they 
be the same species, that the African should be dif- 
ferent in manners, still more handsome in form, be 
the parent of the best domestic breeds, and deterio- 
rate gradually towards the east, till it ceases to be 
found even domesticated beyond the Bramaputra. 
Egypt, Barbary, then Spain;, the south of France, 
and part of Italy, produce, with the exception of 
Arabia, the finest asses ; but in the last mentioned 
region there is the Zobeir Albino breed, apparently 
as ancient as the times of the kings of Judah, and 
still in equal request : it was the vehicle of princes 
in antiquity, and even now is reserved for the grave 
personages of Islam law and priesthood. 

If the Romans were not the importers of the first 
asses in Britain, it was most likely effected by the 
monks before they adopted the luxuries of feudal 
proprietors ; hence they are noticed in the time of 
King Ethelred, as quoted by Pennant ; t but they 
cannot have been naturalized, since, in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth, if Holinshcd may be credited, 

* A choice breed of asses, and of Arabian camels, appears 
to be an object well worthy the attention of the local govcni- 
ments of Australia and New Zealand. 

+ British Zoology, article Ass. 


there were none in England ; now, however, they 
are common in every part of the kingdom. Lin- 
nsens and Gmelin erroneously believed that the 
males alone were decussated, and Aldrovandus is 
mistaken when he asserts that the females do not 
bray. A more detailed description of this animal 
we think superfluous, and therefore proceed to men- 
tion the last species of the present group. 


A sinus hemionus.* 

The Mongolese name of this animal, very variously 
spelt by European writers, signifies the eared^ be- 
cause, like the wild ass, it is provided with longer 
ears than the horse. In size the animal is little in- 
ferior to the wild horse, in general shape resembling 
a mule, in gracefulness of action a horse, and in the 
mixed colours of its livery and difference of fur in 
the cold and warm seasons so like the wild Kiang 
or spotted horse, that both are confounded in some 
descriptions, and in others a similar confusion exists 
between it and the wild ass, as already observed in 
our notice of the Koulan. If the account we be- 
lieve derived from Pallas can be relied on, the 
Djiggetai wants two teeth, but we do not find in 
what place of either jaw. The head is long, flat in 
* Astahis or Hemippus of the ancients. 


front, narrow, the nostrils placed low down the 
muzzle, the neck slender, shoulder rather vertical, 
the withers higher than in the ass, the body and 
haunches like a mule's, the tail asinine, and the ears 
very erect : the fore-top, like in the Equus liippagrus^ 
forms a tuft of downy hair ; the mane is erect, short, 
and dark ; from thence a line of similar colour ex- 
tends along the spine to the terminal tuft of the 
tail, and it is asserted to have occasionally an eva^ 
nescent cross streak on the shoulder ; the fur of the 
coat, in winter rather long and hoary, is in summer 
smooth, with a variety of featherings or whorls in 
the direction of the hair; silvery on the nose, and 
light Isabella, varying to bright bay, on the head, 
neck, flanks, and thighs, covering more surface in 
southern specimens than in those of the north, 
where silvery grey and white run along the ridge 
of the back and occupy the belly, passing up the 
flank, behind the arm, and under the throat, while 
the same colour edges the quarters : the legs are 
white, with the usual callosities on the inner arms, 
and the hoofs asinine. 

The species extends to the north into Southern 
Siberia, spreads over the deserts of Gobi, frequents 
the salt marshes of Tahtary, is abundant in Thibet, 
in the Himalayas, and is not unknown in India, 
unless there is again a confusion between this and 
the Asinus equuleus. From the testimonies of Hero- 
dotus, it appears that his Hemionus, which we think 
is justly taken to be identical with the Djiggetai, 
was found at that time in Syria ; and Theophrastus, 


in Pliny, likewise assigns Cappadocia as its dwell- 
ing : we hear it is still abundant in Turkistan be- 
yond the Oxus, and all describe it as prodigiously 
fleet and cautious, yet possessed of the same curio- 
sity which decoys the wild ass. They live in small 
herds, or large families of females and young ani- 
mals, headed by a male. They neigh with a deeper 
and a louder voice than a horse, and are much 
hunted by the Mongoles and Tunguse for their 

The assertion of Pallas, and the common opinion 
concerning their indomitable nature, is founded in 
error; such a conclusion is in fact an assumption 
that all animals have been created on invariable 
conditions of existence, and that all their actions 
are simple results of a mechanical instincJt, according 
witli their organic structure, and therefore without 
the exercise of any degree of intelligence ; for, as 
Frederick Cuvier justly observes, to what purpose 
would intelligence exist in beings who did not pos- 
sess faculties for distinguishing circumstances favour- 
able or hurtful to their existence? To a certain 
extent such beings do not exist among mammifora? ; 
to find them, we must descend much lower in the 
scale of animal life : it is certainly not the case 
with the rhinoceros, the tiger, or the hyasna; nor 
is it applicable to the Hemionus, for the accounts 
of this animal serving in a domesticated state, as 
already mentioned in Isaiah and Herodotus, is con- 
firmed by the late M. Duvaucel, whose figure, here 
reproduced, is of a male individual, which it appears 



was one of a breed he saw domesticated and la- 
bouring along with asses at Lucknow. * It differs 
from the fine specimen in the Zoological Gardens, 
in having the nose black and the proportions fuller, 
or such as domestication would render them. 




We are now arrived at the third form of Equidse, 
one completely separated from all the others by 
being geographically confined to South Africa, ex- 
tending little beyond the equator. Owing to this 
circumstance none of the species were known to the 
ancients, excepting, it appears, in one instance, 
where Xiphilinus, in his abridgment of Dion Cas- 

* Phamaces, Satrap of Phrygia, brought nine of them to his 
government, whereof three were Uving in the time of Pharna- 

basus his son. — Aristotle Which shows that they were no 

longer wild in Western Asia in the era of Alexander, though 
the ostrich still roamed in Mesopotamia. Aristotle seems to 
overlook his former assertion, or to confound two species. 



sius, lib. Ixvii., relates that Caracalla caused to be 
exhibited in the circus, an elephant, a rhinoceros, 
a tiger, and a hippotigris. This circumstance ap- 
pears to us another indication of what we have 
shown in the- history of Canidae ; we mean a certain 
and gradual diffusion of species over parts of the 
world where previously they did not exist, for the 
Romans, though possessed of less influence in Equa- 
torial Africa than the Egyptians during the ages 
when Meroe flourished, nevertheless obtained a spe- 
cimen of the Zebra, while no such animal appears 
painted in any known monument of earlier date in 
the valley of the Nile that has yet been discovered. 
The indication of Hippotigris is so apposite, that 
ahnost all travellers have made a similar comparison 
on observing any one of this group of animals, and 
on this account we have thought it the most befitting 
appellation for the group collectively taken. If the 
ancients were silent concerning the striped species, 
no wonder that the moderns were not better informed 
until the Portuguese established themselves on the 
coast of Congo and Angola ; here they encountered 
the Zebra, which seems to be the Negro mutation of 
the Abyssinian Zeuru of Lobo and the Galla Zeora, 
or Zecora, according to Ludolphus ; neither, how- 
ever, of these indicated species is the Zebra of the 
moderns, for the earliest descriptions, such as that 
of Pigafetta, applies to a Dauw, or a species with 
alternate stripes of black and brown upon a lightei 
general surface, which we shall describe more parti* 


There exist several engravings of striped Equidee 
in the older writers, Jonston, De Bry, Kolben, &c. : 
of these the uppermost in plate v. of Jonston alone 
is not drawn from fancy; it represents, like the 
others, a Dauw, but clearly from a skin : Kolben's, 
though absolutely worthless, is meant for that of the 
Cape Zebra. All might have been better known 
and figured at that time, since several authors had 
noticed the Galla and Congo Dauw ; one had actu- 
ally been sent from Cairo to the king of Naples, 
and Tillesius, Thievenot, and others assert that they 
had seen domesticated individuals. 

This group, in general, has the head of inter- 
mediate length between the Equine and Asinine; 
the neck naturally fuller, more arched; the mane 
vertical, forming a standing crest : there is more 
girth, muscle, and compactness than in the fore- 
going ; the lower jaw more curved ; the ears wider, 
though lanceolated ; the shoulder more oblique, and 
the withers more elevated than in asses ; the hoofs 
higher, and as in the horse they are round and flat, 
in the ass oval and hollow, so in the species of Hip- 
potigris they are oval at the toe and square at the 
heel, by the spreading of the frog; which causes 
the limb to stand more vertically upon the pastern : 
the tail is always, but especially in youth, more se- 
taceous than in asses, and less than in horses. They 
are all partially or entirely marked with symmetri- 
cal stripes of black and white, or with fulvous 
intermediate passing downwards across the body 
and neck : all have the limbs white, with callosities 


on the inner surface of the upper arm : they have 
sonorous but varied voices ; their dentition is Equine, 
but in one species it is said that there is some ano- 
maly in the mammae of the female. They see re- 
markably well both by day and by night, surpass 
the Equidas of the northern hemisphere in natural 
courage, are their equals in speed, and the species 
that are least adorned with stripes appear above the 
rest, and, next to true horses, formed for the use of 
man. They can be all tamed and ridden; their 
vicious disposition, though an impediment, being 
placable under judicious treatment; and there is 
little doubt that, in a few generations of domestica- 
tion, most, if not all, might be rendered serviceable, 
particularly in South Africa, where they find their 
coarse but natural food, and are exempt from the 
distempers which are there often so fatal to our 
present breeds. 

They are gregarious, but do not keep together in 
such numbers as the horses and asses of the northern 
hemisphere ; nor does it appear that they are under 
the guidance of a stallion leader, who exercises au- 
thority, and exposes himself in defence of the herd. 
Some prefer mountain localities, others the upland 
plains, and each species seems to affect the more 
exclusive society of some particular ruminants. The 
species amount at least to three, with others not 
as yet sufficiently examined to be permanently ad- 
mitted, but whether distinct or mere varieties the 
location of all in juxta-position, with at best the 
separation of a river or of a different mountain or 


plain, not rigidly maintained, offers a similar pic- 
ture of osculating forms as were pointed out in the 
earliest distribution of true horses; and if it be a 
question yet to be solved, whether most of these 
would not under the care of man similarly commix, 
and in time produce races more perfect than any 
of the wild, still the probabilities seem to be en- 
tirely on the affirmative side. 


Hippotigris zebra. 

The name of this animal is properly a result of the 
mistake made by the earlier travellers, who, finding 
at the. Cape a striped Equine, concluded that it was 
of the same species with that already known by the 
equatorial tenn of Zebra, Mr. Burchell first pointed 
out the difference between the tw^o, and proposed 
the restoration of the original name to the Congo 
animal, and to describe that of the Cape under the 
appellation of Equus montanus, because the species 
is properly an inhabitant of mountain districts. 
Naturalists, however, seem to have preferred be- 
stowing Mr. Burchell's own name on the species he 
had so clearly pointed out, and left the Zebra's 
attached to the animal, such as it had been fixed by 
Linnasus. Tbis decision may be so far fortunate, 
as we think it doubtful whether the Burchellian 
Dauw is really the same as the Congo species. 


Of all the banded Equidse, the Cape Zebra has 
the greatest external resemblance of form to the 
Hemionus, though the head is shorter and the neck 
fuller. In order to avoid confusion, it may be ne- 
cessary to point out the diflferences between the 
South African banded species somewhat more in 
detail than was necessary in the description of the 
horse and asinine groups. 

The Zebra, icilde paard and wilden esel of the 
Cape colonists, is about twelve hands high at the 
shoulder, and above double in extreme length. In 
shape the animal is light, symmetrical, the limbs 
slender, and hoof narrow, though rounded forward ; 
the head is light, the ears rather long, and much 
more open than in the ass ; the neck full, with the 
skin under the throat lax ; the tail asinine, about 
sixteen inches long, with a tuft of hair at the tip ; 
the ground colour of the coat is white, sometimes 
slightly tinged with yellow ; and what distinguishes 
the species from all others is, that, leaving only the 
belly and inside of the thighs and upper arms par- 
tially unpainted, it is cross-barred with black over 
the head, neck, body, and limbs to the hoofs, having 
regular distinct nearly undivided bands in the male, 
and in the female similar bands of a less intense, or 
rather brownish colour ; the region around the nos- 
trils is bay, darkening to black towards the mouth ; 
over the head there are numerous equidistant nar- 
row streaks running down the chaffron to the orbits, 
around them, and again others forming curves on 
the cheeks ; from the ridge of the neck downwards 


there are almost always eight or nine hands, exclu- 
sive of two passing down the shoulder, opening 
helow, where several others in the form of chevrons 
are interposed till they gradually become rings down 
to the hoofs ; on the sides there are six or seven 
descending to the edge of the belly, and crossing a 
streak from the mane along the spine, dichotomising 
above, and those on the flank running four or five 
into one as they descend ; on the croup, down to 
the tuft of the tail, are short cross bars; on the 
thigh there are four very broad cross bands, fol- 
lowed by others down the hocks and hind-legs; 
from the breast along the belly there is a single 
black streak ; the tips of the ears are black, with 
four or five smaller streaks beneath them ; and the 
mane, erect and bushy, is alternately banded black 
and white : to these characters Captain Harris adds 
" a bare spot a little above the knee in all four of 
the legs." The female has two inguinal mamma?. 

The species is gregarious in mountainous regions, 
from the territory of the Cape eastward to beyond 
Mozambique, perhaps as far as the southern moun- 
tains of Abyssinia. 

Although vicious and fierce, the animal may be 
tamed, as was fully proved by the female that was 
long kept in the menagerie of Paris, which was ex- 
ceedingly gentle, and could be ridden with safety. 



Hippotigris antiquormn. Nobis. 


Although the animal we place under this name 
may be only a variety of the Cape Dauw, there are 
so many instances of pretended varieties becoming 
admitted species, that we think it preferable to 
separate the two ; the present species, even allowing 
for certain individual variations, differs from the 
other in being, like the Zebra, white with only a 
tinge of yellow : the ears are more open, with two 
black bars and white tips ; the mouth and nostrils 
black ; and the stripes, extending downwards to the 
knees and hocks, and even to the pastern joints, are 
fewer than in the Zebra of the Cape, more irregular, 
scattered, dichotomous, than in the Cape Dauw, 
and disposed in spots, with the slender brown in- 
termediate streaks often interrupted ; the tail is 
equine and white, frequently tinged with rufous 
or black at the end. In stature and form it is the 
most elegant of the whole group, and if the female 
had four mammae, as is affirmed to be the case in 
the Cape Dauw, we think the fact would not have 
escaped the notice of Dr. Smith when he secured the 
unborn foal, which we think belongs to the pre- 
sent species. If this be the case, the Congo Dauw 
extends from the Gareep along the west side of 


Africa to the Zezeere in Nigritia, for the description 
of Pigafetta is only applicable in every part to the 
animal we have here figured, and comparing it with 
the first Zebra, plate v. in Jonston, the identity will 
likewise immediately appear. 

It is likely to spread also from Congo eastward 
to the Galla country, because we learn that there a 
species striped black and brown upon a white 
ground is likewise denominated Zeora, Zecora, and 
Zecuru, all mere mutations of the Negro Zebra. 

The Abyssinian and Galla chiefs adorn the necks 
of their horses with a wreath made of the mane of 
these animals, secured near the throat-band of the 
bridle ; one of these we have examined, and recog- 
nised the three colours, white, brown and black, 
which formed the bars. It may be this species, and 
not the Cape Zebra, which Mr. Hoskins, from the 
description of the Arabs, conjectures to exist in the 
desert of Ethiopia above the fifth cataract of the 
Nile, that is, in about the 18th degree north. 

The Congo species abounds particularly in the 
province of Bamba, and when first encountered by 
Europeans, was so little alarmed at the report of 
fire-arms, that Battel relates his shooting several, 
while others stood by without endeavouring to 
escape. * 

Near the Gareep river they seem to be mixed 
with what we consider the Cape Dauvv or 

* Purchase's Pilgrims, book 6, chap. i. sect. 2, p. 706, folio. 
London, 1617. 



Hippotigrts Burchelli. 


Bontequagga of the Cape colonists. — Peechy of the Bechuana 
and Matalibi. 

Notwithstanding that the merit of first noticing 
this species is due to the enterprising and scientific 
traveller whose name it bears, we doubt his ap- 
proving the practice of bestowing proper names on 
species in honour of persons, so long as more appro- 
priate may be selected, and believe he would him- 
self have preferred anotlier, such as H. campestris, 
by which it is designated in our own series. 

The Dauw, hke the former animal, is about 
thirteen hands and a half at the shoulder; the 
body is round, the legs robust, crest arched, black, 
and surmounted by a standing mane, five inches 
high, banded black and white; the ears smaller 
than in the former, less open, with only one black 
bar and white tip; tail tufted to near the root, 
or semi-equine, white, and about thirty-six inclies 
long ; region round the nostrils and mouth blackish ; 
head, neck, body, and croup light bay ; below and 
limbs white ; numerous black streaks forming ovals 
on the face, broader in chevrons of the same on the 
side of jaws, and vertical still wider down the neck, 


shoulders, body, and obliquely over the croup, they 
dichotomise and divide, but not so irregularly, nor 
descend so low as in the Cojigo species; on the 
spine there is a black streak edged with white 
where the cross bars end, though in the former they 
pass on until they touch the ridge line; between 
the black there are regular brown lines relieving the 
pale bay. 

According to Captain Harris, the female has an 
udder of four mammas ; the hoofs of both species 
are black. The foal is marked like the parents, and 
differs from the adults only by its juvenile form. 
The Dauw inhabits the plains of South Africa north 
of the river Gareep in numerous herds, where they 
mix and accompany those of the ko-koon or Cato- 
blepas gorgon. Notwithstanding what is reported 
of the fleetn€ss of these animals, it appears that 
they can be overtaken, and are actually speared by 
hunters when they are well mounted. 


Hippotigris quacha. 


This species, equal or superior in size to the former, 
is still more robust in structure, with more girth, 
wider across the hips, more like a true horse, the 
hoofs considerably broader than in the zebra, and 
the neck full, the ears rather small, twice barred 


with black, the head somewhat heavy, and the 
muzzle black ; the head, neck, and body are reddish 
brown ; the mane, edges of the dorsal streak, and 
the tail, as well as the colour of the under parts 
and limbs white, like the dauw; head and neck 
banded likewise in the same manner, but on the 
shoulder the bars become pale and on the side 
gradually indistinct, till they are totally lost on 
the croup, and there are no intermediate brown 
bands. The name of this species is derived from 
its voice, which is a kind of cry somewhat resem- 
bling the sounds qua-cha ! It is unquestionably 
best calculated for domestication, both as regards 
strength and docility. The late Mr. Sheriff Parkins 
used to drive a pair of tjiem in his phaeton about 
London, and we have ourselves been drawn by one 
in a gig, the animal showing as much temper and 
delicacy of mouth as any domestic horse. 

Quaggas are still found within the boundaries of 
the Cape of Good Hope, but on the open plains, 
south of the Vaal river, they occur in immense 
herds, associating with the gnu^ Catoblepas gnu. It 
is this species that is reputed to be the boldest of 
all Equine animals, attacking hyaena and wild dog 
without hesitation, and therefore not unfrequently 
domesticated by the Dutch boors for the purpose of 
protecting their horses at night while both are turned 
out to grass. 



Hippotigris isahellinus. 

We separated this animal from the foregoing, be- 
cause with characters most nearly allied to the last, 
such as the equine head, ears, body, croup, tail, 
and even shoulders, it still differs in size from all, 
being scarcely ten hands high, and still more in 
the colours and forms of the cross bands upon its 

The specimen is in the British Museum, and our 
drawling of it was taken when it had been recently 
set up ; it struck us then as representing the zebre, 
or Ane isabelle of Le Vaillant, and found afterwards 
that Mr. Temminck, on seeing it, made the same 
observation."^ At that time there was, however, an 
opinion that it was the skin of a colt whose dark 
streaks were not as yet apparent; but as we now 

* Monsieur Le Vaillant was a travelling naturalist in the 
employ of Mr. Temminck's father, who held a high official 
situation in the Dutch East India Company's government at 
home. From the context of what Le Vaillant says about this 
animal, it is clear that he saw, but did not possess it. Buflfon's 
figure of the young Quacha is copied from Allemand, of which 
we have seen an original drawing with black streaks, and there- 
fore is r.ot like the Isabella. For these reasons we cannot assent 
to the opinion of Mr. Gray, nor agree with the writer of the 
article Horse in the Fenny Cyclopsedia, vol. xii. p. 313. 

■ki. /4 



know that even in the foetus the black marks are 
very distinctly visible, the objection is not valid, 
and there are besides other indications which prove 
the skin to have belonged to an adult. * We there- 
fore shall describe the specimen under the above 
name, in order to attract the attention of natu- 
ralists, and leave to future information the final 
determination of its locality as a species or acci- 
dental variety. 

The Isabella Quagga is, as before remarked, much 
below the stature of the others, and in a stufied 
form proportionably longer ; the specimen is a male, 
and, compared with the quagga, has a different 
coloured nose, ears, and mane, — all being white; 
the general tone of the head, neck, body, and croup 
is yellowish buff, with brownish streaks on the face 
and cheeks, but more undefined, and not extending 
the usual length ; on the neck, shoulder, body, and 
croup there is a series of bands more numerous 
than in the dauw, some few are branched, but in- 
stead of a dark colour, while the specimen was 
recent, they were all pure white, and those on the 
croup particularly numerous and interwoven; the 
belly and limbs are white, but, as if to prove that 
these marks were not tlie result of albinism, the 
anterior pasterns and rings above the hoofs of the 
posterior feet were sooty black and the hoofs dark. 
These marks do not occur in any known species. 

* Ir the whole group there is a greater tendency to lose the 
marks with age than to increase them, AVhen we last saw the 
specimen, the original colour was much changed. 


The late Dr. Leach beUeved the skin to have 
come from the Cape, and it appeared that in his 
opinion the white markings were owing to nonage. 
We think it exceedingly probable that Le Yaillant 
had a sight of a similar animal and gave the above 
notice of it from its diminutive size, and, at a small 
distance, the seeming uniformity of its livery. 


As the space we have remaining is insufficient to 
enter at full length into the physiological views 
which offer themselves in the consideration of 
hybrid propagation, we must be content with a 
more abstracted notice, and endeavour to present to 
the reader some general notions of the progTCSS 
made in this department of research since Buffon 
wrote his article on the mule, and Frederick Cuvier 
published remarks on the same subject in the " Me- 
nagerie du Musee d'Histoire Naturelle." 

Although naturalists establish, upon the myste- 
rious action of the reproduction of species and its 
accompanying phenomena, some most important 
maxims of the zoological science, and in particular 
point out the law which asserts the identity of 
species where consimilar individuals follow each 
other in succession through a series of generations ; 
yet, when they draw conclusions from known ob- 
servations in order to generalise them over others, 


where all the conditions of the problem are not 
proved to be similar, they exceed the proper limits 
of inference, as we have already shown in the x^^atu- 
ral History of Dogs, and endeavoured again to point 
out in the foregoing pages. The laws affecting 
organic matter are modified by the Power that 
ordained them, and subjected to a multitude of 
exceptions, warning us at every moment to be cau- 
tious in the assignment of their bounds. Formerly, 
because science would not recognize the evidence of 
these modifications, it was endeavoured to escape 
from acknowledging the value of truth, by asserting 
that bats were birds and cetacea fishes, because they 
were not quadrupeds ; and when the objection was 
destroyed by adopting as a general term the word 
mammalia, many, habituated to received doctrines, 
maintained them to be at best on the utmost verge 
of possible adaptations of that class of beings ; but 
with a more intimate knowledge of American ani- 
mals, and still more after the discovery of the 
Marsupialia of New Holland, new phenomena in 
gestation and reproduction came to light. In the 
case of Opossums, they had often been denied or 
overlooked, and were held impossibilities, until sys- 
tematic research overthrew all doubt and transferred 
incredulity to the as yet unsettled questions relating 
to the Monotremes, whose wonderful history is con- 
spicuous in the Ornithorynchus or water-mole. 

Now, all these questions were and are accessible 
to direct proof by anatomical investigation ; and if 
they were so long contested more than examined, 


we must not expect assent to be readily granted 
to others not amenable to similar demonstration. 
Where we have as yet only a very small stock of 
experiments to guide us, where a multiplicity of 
distant and minor considerations must be weighed 
against each other, conclusions that appeared legiti- 
mate become questionable ; and though the human 
mind often continues to uphold them with more 
tenacity than judgment, they are defended with 
less and less ardour, and finally are surrendered, 
like all other unprofitable prejudices. We might 
go on to show how little we are acquainted with 
the resources of Nature in the history of insects, in 
the laws affecting the life of those low orders of ex- 
istence which pass into vegetable and stony forms ; 
we might ask what is known of the microscopic and 
ephemeral beings which spring into vitality and 
perish within the few hours of a solar day, and are 
not again reproduced until a space of time is elapsed 
indefinite or exceeding three hundred fold the dura- 
tion of the appointed limits of animation ; we might 
point to surmised animals and their germs reposing 
in the depths of earth, slumbering perhaps in a niglit 
of ages, to be called at some future moment into 
their day of active being ! Finally, when we every- 
where observe organic remains in evidence of an 
infinity of lost animal forms, of destroyed families 
and genera and species that once were quickened 
by the irritabilities of life, once fulfilled a design 
and accomplished the tasks assigned them, we 
surely, while the plastic power is undeniable in all 


its modifications, may with propriety refrain from 
denying the probability of those other flexibihties in 
the laws of propagation which we have here advo- 
cated, although the evidence as yet remains in some 
cases presumptive, and we only descry the workings 
of Almighty Beneficence darkly. 

With the limited knowledge we as yet possess, 
we are not justified assuming as law, without strik- 
ing exceptions, that sterility is a necessary result of 
the commixture of different species, and fertile off- 
spring an unerring proof of their identity. Frederick 
Cuvier, notwithstanding an evident disinclination to 
depart in opinion from the conclusions of the great 
and eloquent Buffon, is obliged to qualify his assent, 
and points out himself the disregard of his own con- 
clusions and the unsatisfactory state of opinion that 
noble writer and his followers are driven to when 
they attempt rigorously to uphold them. 

" In this science (zoology), as in all those depend- 
ing upon observation, the generalisation of facts," 
says F. Cuvier, * " is the surest guide to truth ; but 
the inductions to be drawn, in order to escape false 
conclusions, must rest upon facts strictly amenable to 
comparison. Nothing appears more natural, from 
an observation of the phenomena of the succession of 
individuals in an ascending or a descending line 
being similar to each other, than that they are of 
the same species; and this consideration, coupled 

* Frederick Cuvier's great work, Lithographed Mammals of 
the Menagerie of Paris. Folio, coloured. Articles Zebra and 


with a certain repugnance which many animals 
manifest towards others very similar to themselves, 
induced Buffon to draw the above mentioned con- 
clusion. But he soon after could not help perceiv- 
ing, that we can only pursue our inquiries with 
certainty among a few domesticated species, some of 
them expatriated, or under various conditions of 
restraint, and that with all the others we depend 
entirely upon inference." He discovered that there 
were species, admitted to be distinct, which never- 
theless produced fertile offspring : this was the case 
in his later experiments with wolves and dogs, with 
goats and sheep, and he was not then aware that 
all these names include more than one species, which 
there is every reason to believe can mix and pro- 
duce fertile descendants, since several are already 
known to possess the faculty. It was in endea- 
vours to account for these exceptions that Buffon 
was driven to arbitrary restrictions and extensions 
of his rule ; and had he given due consideration to 
the fact, first published by himself, of the different 
number of mammae in different dogs, and known 
that the vertebrae of the back, the sacrum, and tail 
vary exceedingly in hogs, said by those who main- 
tain the rigorous maxim before quoted to be of the 
same species, he would most unquestionably have 
framed his view of the law with more circumspec- 

As a general proposition, we do not mean to dis- 
pute that it is still the best and most trustworthy 
method for distinguishing species ; only the inferences 


demand not to be made more absolute than is 
necessary, and should be limited in the application 
to the true phenomena of each case, for these vary 
exceedingly upon the slightest discrepancies between 
osculating or nearly osculating animals, some hy- 
brids being sterile, others reproductive, though with 
an apparent decreasing power of fertility, and some 
where there is no observable check in progenitive- 
ness, or where it is soon obliterated. Such we 
conceive to be the true horses here described, the 
two species of camel, the goat and sheep, and most 
if not all the species of both; we might add the 
domestic cats, including the blue or chartreux, ori- 
ginally belonging to a distinct feline group; the 
Bengal cat described by Pennant, of a second, and 
the tortoiseshell cat, to all appearance sprung from a 
third group originally indigenous in South America, 
and still sufficiently aberrant to produce in the do- 
mestic commixture males with the greatest rarity, 
thouoh the distinctive character is so strong that the 
females alone are competent to preserve it. Frederick 
Cuvier rejects the existence of mules where neither 
of the parents are domesticated, but we know wild 
mammalia under restraint are likewise in the pre- 
dicament as well as several species of birds in a 
state of liberty, such as Gallinacea and several Meru- 
lidae and Fringillid^e. We question the reserve of 
all polygamous ruminants and of some pachyder- 
mata ; all those that expel a proportion of the males 
from the herd and that can find approximating 
species. From personal inquiry among those who. 


like the ancients, reside in the presence of uncon- 
trouled animal nature, we have found that, like 
them, though they believe in heterogeneous inter- 
mixtures known to he untrue, they nevertheless 
infer them from others which have every appear- 
ance of reality; thus, we may instance the well 
authenticated fact of the American bison, in the 
frenzy of defeat and expulsion, forcing his way to 
seek companions among domestic cows, whose do- 
mesticity in this case is an accident, not a cause : 
we may point out likewise, in the rut of Indian 
repudiated Axine bucks producing among the un- 
speckled Porcine the intermediate well known breed 
of spotted hog-deer, an instance where both species 
are w41d. 

" In Natural History," Cuvier remarks, " we 
judge from the forces acting at present on the laws 
of nature, and not from those of a different charac- 
ter which have ceased to operate, or are no longer 
within reach of observation." To render this maxim 
wholly admissible, it would be necessary to sub- 
stantiate the facts : undoubtedly the period when 
animals extended their habitation after primitive 
distribution is in a great measure past, excepting 
where the intervention of man continues to act ; yet 
it is not wholly so, nor is it proved that the earlier 
migrations of mammals were entirely without human 
intervention. If the feral horse, stretching without 
his instrumentality towards Tierra del Fuego and 
to California, is not wholly free from objection, the 
progress of the Bengal tiger to the reedy shores of 


Lake Aral is at least believed to be recent and un- 
aided : nor is the influence of man the only remain- 
ing agent in the operation of modifications. We 
believe it at present perceptible in a species of goat 
known as the wild cegagrus^ which is occasionally 
found in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Caucasus, and 
the mountains of Bootan, in all appearing to be a 
prolific hybrid between the domestic goat, of what- 
ever origin or country it may be derived, and the 
local wild capra of the region, wliether it be ibex, 
caucasica, or any other. Besides, if there be not 
already in South Africa, similarly to what we con- 
tend occurred in Asia, one or more modifications 
intermediate between the zebra and quagga, totally 
independent of the intervention of man, we may at 
least point out the probabilities of what might be 
effected by a well ordered system of cross breeding 
with the same species and their actual osculants, 
and what might be the results after repeatedly in- 
fusing the blood of one desirable form to modify 
and perfect another. 

There are as yet so few carefully conducted expe- 
riments of this class, and there is so evident an 
unwillingness in practical men to encounter new 
combinations where certain profit is not immedi- 
ately demonstrable, that the immense latent power 
of sympathy between the foetus and the mother of 
the more highly organised domestic animals is, 
among other subjects, well worthy investigation ; 
since the influence exercised upon what is called 
natural education is not only acknowledged, but in 



the reproduction of forms, marks, and colours, the 
evidence of anterior excitements are demonstrated 
in the case of the mare whose first foal having been 
a mule by a stallion quagga, continued after a lapse 
of five years to reproduce the markings of that ani- 
mal in three successive births, although the parent 
of this and the subsequent progeny was a black 
Arabian, and of course one of homogeneous species 
v^^ith herself: these facts, detailed in letters of the 
late Earl of Morton, and published in the first part 
of the Philosophical Transactions of the year 1821, 
have not yet received all the consideration they de- 
serve, and they prove that at least some important 
forces at present acting on the laws of nature are not 
beyond the sphere of observation. We here subjoin 
representations of the mare and her successive oS- 
spring, in Plates XXVI., XXYII., and XXIX., * 
which represents the quagga mule, and Plate XIV. 
the brood mare and her last foal, still marked with 
the black stripes on the body ; the mare was seven- 
eighths of Arabian blood, and consequently her 
progeny by the Arab was nineteen- twentieths tho- 
rough-bred ; yet not only these hippotigrine marks 
remained, but the manes also were coarse and stand- 
ing, though in other respects the young horses were 
elegant and spirited animals. One more remark on 
this subject must not however be omitted, inasmuch 
as it seems to point out the fact of the quaggas 

* All the figures produced in these plates are reduced 
copies from the paintings, by Agasse, in Surgeon's College, 

■ if^J'.. 

' \ 


a. ■<>b 

"i K i\m H-< I \ ^ 

4 / 


(WSr If 



themselves being of remote hybrid descent ; because 
any disturbing action in the regular filiation of their 
progeny reproduced indications of a more decided 
system of variegated painting on the true horses 
and superadded cross bars on the joints, neither of 
Avhich occur or are conspicuous in the quagga. 

Already, in the time of BufFon, the idea of pro- 
ducing mules from the striped species of Equidas 
had occurred. Lord Clive, in experiments to effect 
this purpose, had. found it necessary to deceive a 
female zebra by painting a male ass with hippoti- 
grine stripes. No such precautions, it appears from 
Frederick Cuvier s remarks, were subsequently de- 
manded at the Menagerie du Roi at Paris ; here 
the hybrid result was a powerful slate- coloured 
animal with but scanty marks of the zebra dam in 
his livery; as often occurs in the first descent, 
when in the second they are much more conspicuous. 
In a second instance, we do not know, but the sire 
appears to have been zebra and the dam an ass ; 
for .the structure indicates her form, and the more 
conspicuous strias the parental livery. See Plate 

With regard to the quagga mule, Plate XXIX., 
v/e detect in the figure a more powerful animal, but 
its subsequent history is not known to us. Equine 
mules, though there are both ancient and modern 
attestations to the contrary, may be justly regarded 
as unable to continue their race: the Paris zebra 
mule likewise evinced an indifference, which, in the 
course of a long life and ample food, proved a simi- 

344 THP] MULES. 

lar state of organic inability ; but it is in forming 
cross breeds between positively osculating species, 
such as the South African, particularly the quagga 
and the two or three dauws, all homogeneous in 
most respects, that an improved Austral horse may 
be attainable, one that would be more durable, more 
serviceable, more easily kept, cheaper, and less 
liable to disease in the southern hemisphere than 
any of the races introduced from the north. 

In hybrids, it is true, deterioration may be at 
first in some measure expected, but after the second 
and third generation, with well selected animals of 
unadulterated blood. Nature recovers from the dis- 
turbing effects, and assuming characteristics of sta- 
bility without loss of a great part of the required 
qualities brought in by the mule hybrid, is again 
prepared for a further infusion of them by a fresh 
cross, until the desired point is obtained, and stature, 
form, colour, or marks are produced equal to the 
proposed intention in a number of individuals suffi- 
ciently large to prevent decrease or decay in the 
progenitive powers. These inferences rest upon the 
case of the hybrid wolves of Buffon continuing to 
breed among themselves, though they were under 
circumstances of restraint, neglected, and insuffi- 
ciently numerous or aided by recrossings from either 
side of their parentage ; causes in themselves suffi- 
cient to produce a gradual sterility. 

The common mule is the offspring of a male ass 
and a mare ; familiar to every reader. This kind 
of animal was already abundant in Palestine at the 


time of the first kings of Israel, and is frequently 
mentioned in the Scriptures and in Persian history. 
In the district of Zobeir, or Old Bussorah, the an- 
cient habitation of Orchrenian magi, and not far from 
the west bank of the Lower Euphrates, there is still 
a race of white asses anciently renowned, as well as 
the breed of similarly coloured mules, reared with 
attention, and the most beautiful in form that are 
known. In antiquity, the sons of kings rode them, 
and old princes put them in the traces of their 
chariots. In the time of the caliphs of Bagdad, 
they sold for eighty or more pieces of gold, according 
to Abdulatif. They continued to be bought at high 
prices for the use of Moslem chiefs, of heads of the 
law, civil and religious. 

The common grey mule of Egypt and Barbary is 
a handsome, docile, and in general a large animal, 
much used by merchants, Jews, and Christians, 
who, until very recently, were denied the privilege 
of riding horses. In Auvergnc and the south of 
France and Spain, partially supplied from beyond 
the Pyrenees, the race is in general black, large, and 
robust. It is the fashion to shave their skins in 
summer, and their tails are often clipped in a suc- 
cession of tassels like a bell-rope. So late as tl.'c 
reign of Louis XIV. the medical men of Paris still 
rode mules. In Spain they continue to serve, be- 
cause they are sure-footed and cautious, in travers- 
ing i.iountain precipices and stony roads with a 
rider or with merchandise upon their backs, and 
have an easy pace. In Italy the dun-coloured breed 


of Volterra is in highest estimation for bulk and 
good qualities, and therefore it is eagerly bought up 
to draw the carriages of cardinals and Roman 
church dignitaries. It is in Italy alone, as before 
remarked, that we find a mule in complete panoply 
is mounted by a knight in armour. It is observed 
of hybrids in general, that males are much more 
abundant than females, and the fact is equally true 
in the mules between ass and mare, where the males 
are in the proportion of two or three to one female : 
another observation proves that the offspring always 
partake more of the character of the male parent 
than of the female ; thus, in the common mule, we 
perceive the ears to be long, the head, croup, and 
tail asinine ; while in the hinny, or progeny of a 
stallion and female ass, the head, ears, body, and 
tail resemble the same organs in a horse ; but the 
mule in bulk and stature takes after the mare, and 
the hinny in like manner is low like the she-ass. 



This animal, though rather more docile than the 
common mule, is of inferior utility, because less 
hardy and somewhat disproportioned in the bulk of 
the carcase in comparison with the legs, and there- 
fore more easily fatigued. Hinnies are now extremely 
rare in Europe, and even so uncommon in Barbary, 
that few have seen them, and when they occur are 

THE niNNY. 347 

a cause of marvel, which the Oriental mode of 
thinking is sure to embellish. It was no doubt in 
Africa that the story arose, which was long credited 
in Europe, and seemed to have influence even upon 
Buffon, respecting a monstrous breed of hybrids be- 
tween a bull and female ass, or a male ass and cow : 
one author asserting that he had himself rode one in 
Piedmont, and others that they occurred in the 
valleys of the Pyrenees : the first mentioned variety, 
it was said, bore the name of Baf or Bof, and the 
second that of Bif. In France both were supposed 
to be known by the appellation of Jumar, a word 
clearly borrowed from one or other of the Arabic 
dialects, Ahmar or Hymar, already noticed. In 
Barbary, where this story is still believed, and per- 
sons assert they have seen individuals of the mon- 
ster form, we find, if they are all of the kind such 
as a black specimen already mentioned, that it is 
simply a hinny ; but the Western Arabs assert that 
these animals are wild, and produce in proof of it 
the species of horse we have described before under 
the name bestowed upon it by them, namely, the 
Koomrah; which having low withers, a bulky 
body, and the forehead covered with a woolly fur, 
has an equivocal appearance, perhaps sufficient to 
have raised suspicion of a bovine intermixture so 
early as to be the same animal which Herodotus 
without a description has denominated Boryes. 

In concluding this essay on the Natural History 
of Equid^, we beg to assure the reader, without 
claiming his implicit assent to the mode of viewing 


we have fearlessly ventured to submit as the result 
of our convictions, that we arrived at them after 
researches originally made more amid the wild 
scenery of Nature than among books, and that we 
found them ever recurring where the maxims of our 
present physiology are incompetent to explain the 
phenomena which offer themselves; they do not 
claim to be demonstrations, but tentamina to excite 
attention, and to account for facts which otherwise 
are inexplicable. In the progress of science, in the 
accumulation of observation, we daily feel the neces- 
sity of abandoning dicta and maxims, which, after 
having been long trusted on authority, are gradually 
undermined, and finish by being surrendered. 

Thus, neither the depth of view, nor the elo- 
quence of Buffon, have been able to maintain many 
of his conclusions ; they have failed to uphold his 
*' Tableaux de la Nature," and his " Degenerations 
des Animaux" has not fared better. If, in the 
leading points we have discussed, we should not 
carry with us the consent of scientific men, the 
cause may be justly ascribed to our inability more 
than to the doctrines here advocated ; and in abstruse 
questions, such as those where systematic nomen- 
clature and physiology are insufficient, we believe, 
in order to come at sound probabilities, that we must 
study also the earth's * surface, the phenomena of 
its revolutions, its geographical history, and, finally, 
apply an enlightened philological system to the 
whole. Though every way humble and inadequate 
to grapple with these desiderata with real strength, 


such means as we possess have been made available, 
not to repeat a thrice told tale, but to offer views 
which close investigation into species appears to 
sanction, so far at least as those mammalia are con- 
cerned which were destined by Almighty Wisdom 
to be the solace and servant of man. 




£• 1 1 

Incisors - cuspidate — r, or in the females of 

some species r^^ ; molars r^ = 38 or 40 ; mo- 
lars furrowed on each side with flat crow^ns and 
vermiform ridges of enamel ; void space between the 
cuspidate and molars ; upper lip very moveable ; 
eyes large, pupil elongated laterally; ears rather 
large, erect, very moveable ; feet solidungular ; tail 
setose, or with a tuft at the end ; mammae two, ingui- 
nal; stomach simple, membranaceous; intestines and 
caecum very large ; colour plain, dappled, or striped. 


Equus cahallus. 

Tail setose up to the root ; flowing mane ; raised 
withers ; round solid hoofs ; neighing voice ; mam- 
mae two. 

Eq. cahallus domesticus... The Bay Wild Horse or Tarpan. 

The White villous Wild Horse. 

... The Black ? 

The Eelback Dun decussated. 

Eq. varius The Tangum or Kiang. 

Eq. hippagrus Tlie Koomrah of Africa. 



Tail with a tuft at tip ; forehead arched ; nostrils 
more forward; withers low; mane rugged, short, 
erect ; ears long ; back carped ; hoof, soles oval ; 
voice braying or dissonant ; mammse two ; colour 
silvery greys ; back decussated. 

Asinus equuleus The Yo-to-tze. 

A. 07iager The Wild Ass. 

A. hamar The Wild Ass of Persia. 

A. Iiemionus The Djiggetai. 


Tail asinine or equine ; withers slightly elevated ; 
ears long and wide ; mane erect, forming a standing- 
crest ; hoof, soles anteriorly oval, posteriorly square ; 
colours white or clouded with rufous, but all more 
or less regularly and symmetrically striped ; voice 
various ; mammae two or four. 

Hippotigris zebra The Zebra. 

H. ayitiquorum The Congo Dauw. 

H. BurcMli or campestris The Dauw. 

H.quacha The Quagga. 

//. isahellinus The Isabella Quagga. 


The Mule. 
The Hinny. 
The Quagga Mule. 
The Zebra Mule. 



In reviewing the manuscript, the author requests 
the reader to correct a slight mistake in stating that 
Joseph sent a chariot and horses for his father, 
when he should have said that chariots and horses 
went up with him when the body of Jacob was 
carried for burial in the cave of the field of Mach- 
pelah ; and since the text was written, among many 
services rendered by Mr. Edward Blyth, whose me- 
rits as a naturalist are well known, the author has 
to thank him for an interesting notice of horse-teeth 
found at the Big Bone Lick, the well known place 
where the remains of Mastodon abound, which 
proves the existence of Equid^e in North America 
during a former Zoology; and in that particular 
invalidates the remarks in the text concerning their 
pristine absence. 




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