Chapter 5: A Fair Start
"That's well," said the squire, "I will try him myself to-morrow."
The next day I was brought up for my master. I remembered
my mother's counsel and my good old master's, and I tried to do exactly
what he wanted me to do. I found he was a very good rider,
and thoughtful for his horse too. When he came home
the lady was at the hall door as he rode up.
"Well, my dear," she said, "how do you like him?"
"He is exactly what John said," he replied; "a pleasanter creature
I never wish to mount. What shall we call him?"
"Would you like Ebony?" said she; "he is as black as ebony."
"No, not Ebony."
"Will you call him Blackbird, like your uncle's old horse?"
"No, he is far handsomer than old Blackbird ever was."
"Yes," she said, "he is really quite a beauty, and he has such a sweet,
good-tempered face, and such a fine, intelligent eye -- what do you say
to calling him Black Beauty?"
"Black Beauty -- why, yes, I think that is 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 master and mistress
had chosen a good, sensible English 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 Grey's
old Duchess was the mother of them both?"