Tuesday, November 30, 2010

L'Estrange: A Skittish Horse.

There goes a Story of a Restiff, Skittish Jade, that had gotten such a Trick of Rising, Starting, and Flying out at his own Shadow, that he was not to be Endur'd; for the Discipline of the Spur and the Bit was wholly Lost upon him. When his Rider found that there was no Reclaiming of him by the Ordinary Methods of Horsemanship, he took him to task upon the Philosophy and Logick of the Bus'ness. 'Tis only a Shadow, says he, that you Boggle at: And what is that Shadow, but so much Air that the Light cannot come at? It has neither Teeth nor Claws, you see, nor any thing else to Hurt ye: 'Twill neither Break your Shins, nor Block up your Passage; and what are you afraid of then? Well says the Horse, (who it seems had more Wit then his Master) 'tis no new Thing in the World, even for the greatest Heroes to shrink under the Impression of Panick Terrors. What are all the Sprights, Ghosts and Goblins that you your Selves Tremble at, but Phantomes and Chimera's, that are bred and shap'd in your own Brain?

Nature and Reason have Fortify'd us, if we will but make use of our Strength, against all Difficulties that can Befall us in this World. But if we will stand Boggling at Imaginary Evils, let us never Blame a Horse, for starting at a Shadow.

Source: L'Estrange 479.
(not in Mille) (not in Perry)

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