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|Thorpe Family: Ch. 7 - A Most Knowing-looking Coachman
Written by Robbin
(3/1/2009 5:35 p.m.)
they were prevented crossing by the approach of a gig, driven along on bad pavement by a most knowing–looking coachman with all the vehemence that could most fitly endanger the lives of himself, his companion, and his horse. (Ch. 7)
I read this (above) as John Thorpe is the coachman and the companion is James Morland and the horse is a horse of course, of course. (;D) I don’t know a lot about the care of horses but it appears the coachman is being rather hard on the horse. His treatment of the animal brought shades of Black Beauty before my eyes. When he saw Catherine & Isabella his “horse was immediately checked with a violence which almost threw him on his haunches” and I cringed in response. Later in the chapter John tells Catherine:
“Rest! He has only come three and twenty miles today; all nonsense; nothing ruins horses so much as rest; nothing knocks them up so soon. No, no; I shall exercise mine at the average of four hours every day while I am here.” (Ch. 7)
Is Catherine correct in thinking the horse should be rested before taken out for a forty-mile romp? Is John Thorpe mistreating his horse? If so, does that not say something unpleasant about his character? A lack of care and negligence of another living creature in his power comes to mind. I hope I am not making too much of the words vehemence, endanger, and violence!
Thanks for reading. (;D)
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