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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #131


[Jeremiah Barker, Black Beauty’s new owner, drives a London cab, and calls the horse “Jack.”] On Jerry’s return to the rank, there was a a good deal of laughing and chaffing at him, for driving hard to the train for an extra fare, as they said, all against his principles; and they wanted to know how much he had pocketed. “A good deal more than I usually get,” said he, nodding slily; “what he gave me will keep me in little comforts for several days.” “Gammon;” said one. “He’s a humbug,” said another, “preaching to us, and then doing the same himself.” “Look here, mates,” said Jerry, “the gentleman offered me half-a-crown extra, but I didn’t take it; ’twas quite pay enough for me, to see how glad he was to catch that train; and if Jack and I choose to have a quick run now and then, to please ourselves, that’s our business and not yours.” “Well,” said Larry, “you’ll never be a rich man.” “Most likely not,” said Jerry, “but I don’t know that I shall be the less happy for that. I have heard the commandments read a great many times, and I never noticed that any of them said, ‘Thou shalt be rich;’ and there are a good many curious things said in the New Testament about rich men, that I think would make me feel rather queer if I was one of them.” “If you ever do get rich,” said Governor Grey, looking over his shoulder across the top of his cab, “you’ll deserve it, Jerry, and you won’t find a curse come with your wealth. As for you, Larry, you’ll die poor, you spend too much in whipcord.” “Well,” said Larry, “what is a fellow to do when his horse won’t go without it?” “You never take the trouble to see if he will go without it; your whip is always going as if you had the St. Vitus’ Dance in your arm; and if it does not wear you out, it wears your horse out; you know you are always changing your horses, and why? because you never give them any peace or encouragement.” “Well, I have not had good luck,” said Larry, “that’s where it is.” “And you never will,” said the Governor; “Good Luck is rather particular who she rides with, and mostly prefers those who have got common sense and a good heart: at least, that is my experience.” Anna Sewell, Black Beauty (1878), pp. 232-234

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