Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/179

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133
RURAL SPORTS

Venus and Adonis gives a list of points pertaining to a perfect and marketable horse that is transferred almost word for word from a similar list expressed in prose by Blundeville.

"So did this horse excel a common one,
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.
Round hoof'd, stort-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide:
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack."

It is interesting to note that the quack physiological beliefs of the time were held to be as true of horses as of human beings. "He [the horse]," says Blundeville, "is complexioned according as he doth participate more or less of any of the iiij elements. For if he hath more of the earth than of any of the rest, he is melancholy, heavy and faint-hearted, and of colour a black, a russet, or a bright or dark dun. But if he hath more of the water then is he phlegmatic, slow, dull, and apt to lose flesh, and of colour most commonly a milk white. If of the air, then is he sanguine, and therefore pleasant, nimble, and is of colour commonly a bay. And if of the fire, then is he choleric, and therefore light, hot, fiery, a stirrer, and seldom of any great strength, and is wont to be of colour a light sorrel. But when he doth