THE STABLE. 95
ness and carriages, it may be well to call attention to the great difference in the care bestowed upon them by coachmen generally and individually. It is exceedingly interesting to go to some of our coachbuilders and carefully examine carriages which are up for some slight repair. The exception is the one which has had careful attention while in use.
There is a tendency toward the neglect of a proper care of the axles and boxes, either in allowing sand or some rough substance to scratch the surface, or in .neglecting to wipe the oil from the woodwork, which results in a rapid rotting. In England it is customary to have the axles attended to altogether by the coachbuilder, and such a practice is strongly to be advised, as it will cost but a few dollars a year, and one is thereby assured as to their condition.
Some coachmen take pains always to have on hand a pot of black varnish and a little paint the colour of their carriages, so as to touch tip the steps or any trifling scratches which detract from the general appearance. Others bring in carriages which have not had nearly as much use, and which look shabby from mere lack of proper care ; in fact, they often show signs of having been actually neglected. A carriage should never be left overnight without a careful washing. Plenty of water should be used, but by no means is this to be applied with a hose. Two large sponges