26 BLACK BEAUTY.
" Black Beauty—why, yes, I think that fs a very good name. If you like, it shall be his name ;" and so'it was.
When John went into the stable he told James that the master and mistress had chosen a good sensible name for me, that meant something; not like Marengo, or Pegasus, or Abdallah. They both laughed, and James said, " If it was not for bringing back the past, I should have named him ' Rob Roy,' for I never saw two horses more alike."
" That's no wonder," said John; " didn't you know that farmer Gray's old Duchess was the mother of them both ?"
I had never heard that before; and so poor Rob Roy ivho was killed at that hunt was my brother! I did not wonder that my mother was so troubled. It seems that horses have no relations; at least they never know each other after they are sold.
John seemed very proud of me; he used to make my mane and tail almost as smooth as a lady's hair, and he would talk to me a great deal; of course, I did not understand all he said, but I learned more and more to know what he meant, and what he wanted me to do. I grew very fond of him, he was so gentle and kind; he seemed to know just how a horse feels, and when he cleaned me he knew the tender places and the ticklish places; when he brushed my head, he went as carefully over my eyes as if they were his own, and never stirred up any ill-temper.
James Howard, the stable boy, was just as gentle and pleasant in his way, so I thought myself well off. There was another man who helped in the yard, but he had very little to do with Ginger and me.
A few days after this I had to go out with Ginger in the carriage. I wondered how we should get on together; but except laying her ears back when I was led up to her, she behaved very well. She did her work honestly, and did her full share, and I never wish to have a better partner in double harness. When we came to a hill, instead of slackening her pace she would throw her weight right