The Soldier and His Horses

A Soldier who had an excellent horse purchased a second and devoted himself to the second. The first diminished and questioned why. Things change.

Nothing stays the same.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

An Officer of Cavalry was possessed of an excellent horse; however, it was his whim to purchase another that was not so good as the first, but which he always attended with the utmost care, providing for him always the best of everything he might want. “What can be the reason,” said the second horse to the first, “that our master is more kind and indulgent to me than to you, who are more beautiful, fleeter, and stronger than I am?” when the other made him this answer: “It is the usage of mankind, who are always more fond of any object of novelty to them than of such things as are of more value, but are become familiar in their sight; and you yourself must expect to give place in time to a newer object of attention.”

NorthcoteNorthcote

[Note: The Northcote fable is the same fable as in the JBR Collection above. Only the illustrations and Application associated with the fable in the Northcote book are displayed here.]

Application

This Fable points out the instability of mankind, who most frequently attach more value and importance to a mere novelty, although it may be much inferior in every quality to that which they before possessed, and which had no other fault than that of having long enjoyed their favour. J. N.

JN Fable 063

Sketch: James Northcote; Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: F.W. Branston (1828)

JN Fable 063a

Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: S. Slader (1828)