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(on account of the stumps of birch trees cut off at about two feet above the surface, and left standing); but leaving everything to my mount, which was a perfectly safe conveyance, I rode on close to the hounds till we came to what I thought an impracticable object in the shape of a brook.* I did not leave the hounds ; but they had thrown up for a second or two, and, much to my relief, the fox had made a turn from it, probably finding there was more of a current running on it than he cared to swim; and thus I was saved the trial of negotiation.
“Forward! forward! Hoik! hoik!” And away they dashed again, like so many eels through the woods. The line had been hit off by two or three of the tail hounds in this time from the brook, which brought the whole pack close to their fox; and in this crashing proximity they ran him as if they were tied to him, for twenty-five minutes ; and when almost in their mouths, alas! a yawning earth, to which the young “wooden" whip had been especially sent, but never got there, saved his life. The who-hoop would have been a very different interpretation if he had had another hundred yards to go.
The half-stifled prayers of some of the leading hounds who had almost buried themselves in the soft loamy ground in which the carth was drawn were irresistible, and we sent off for tools and serfs to dig him out. I was never very hopeful of success after I heard that a short time before they had dug out a badger in the samo place.
The earth was consequently endless. We dug, however, till dark in vain, and then rode back to Gorilla, where, after changing our clothes, we sat down to a most substantial and excellent dinner, which I understood was provided, like the breakfast of the morning, by the huntsman's wife; and as the hunt club have a cellar of wine to match, it is hardly necessary to say that the conviviality of the evening was only interrupted when time was called for our return to Petersburg—in the same order as we had come down in the morning.
The club-room at the Gorilla hunt are hung around with the most interesting trophies of the chase-heads of wolves, pates of foxes, interspersed with some very old caricatures of scenes and incidents long gone by, as well as some most interesting accounts of the establishment of the pack, such as I hope may be repeated with double success for many a-year to come.
This brook was 12 or 14 feet wide: very full of water when I saw it. I am told it has been frequently negotiated by many of the field,
"H E RE'S SPORT
I N D E E D!"
BY LORD WILLIAM LENNOX,
CHAP. LXX. The new year is always an interesting point of our existence. It was formerly ushered in with odes and sonnets, of which the following may furnishi an amusing specinien:
“All hail to the birth of the year!
On the head of each bald-pated tree.” Whether the poet was a punster, and opened his address to winter with “ All hail !" or where he discovered the splendid metaphor of the
snowy peruke” which savours more of rime than reason, we will not stop to inquire. Suffice it to say, we heartily concur in the sentiment of welcoming 1868; we contemplate many mercies, favours, benefits, and kindnesses that have been heaped upon us during the last twelve months, or may perhaps have had to mourn over some sad bereavement that has overtaken us during that period; but whether our reminiscences are joyful or sad, there is one sentiment that universally prevails on the birth of the new year, and that is a feeling of goodwill towards our relatives, friends, and acquaintances. And in so doing, we concentrate our wishes in that most emphatic, hearty English congratulation, which, despite its antiquity, is still endeared to our heart of hearts, and which we trust will never moulder away, or be levelled with the dust, and thus salute the worthy proprietor of this magazine, the editor, his staff, and our readers with the compliments of the season, and a "happy new year.'
:'' The mean temperature, or that degree of heat which is inidway between the highest and lowest points observed on the thermo'meter, is lower in this month than in any other; the general mean temperature being 35 degrees : at night it is generally below freezing point. The prevailing winds are from west to north. The coldest January on record was in 1795 ; while that of the following year was the mildest. The characteristics of the month are raw, cold, snowy, frosty, days; so that fox-hunting is usually put an end to. To console the sportsman, however, for the loss of the “ noble science.” pheasant, woodcock, and wild-fowl shooting, skating, curling, and golfing may be had to perfection.
As the title I have selected includes ancient and modern sport, I propose to give an extract from a very old work, published in 1686, entitled “The Gentleman's Recreation :' Hunting,” says the writer, "is a game and recreation commendable, not only for kings, princes, and the nobility, but likewise for private gentlemen ; and as it is a noble and healthy_pastime, it is a thing which hath been highlyprized in all ages. Besides, hunting trains up youth to the use of manly exercises in their riper age, being encouraged thereto by the pleasure they take in hunting the stately stag, the generous buck, the wild boar, the cunning otter, the crafty fox, and the fearful bare; also the catching of vermin by engines, as the fitchet, the fulmart, the ferret, the polecat, the moldwarp, and the like. Exercise herein preserveth health, and increaseth strength and activity. Others inflame the hot spirit of young men with roving ambition, love of war, and sceds of anger ; but the exercise of hunting neither remits the mind to sloth nor softness, nor (if it be used with moderation) hardens it to inhumanity; but rather inclines men to good acquaintance and generous society. It is no small advantage to be inured to bear hunger, thirst, and weariness from one's childhood, to take up a timely habit of quitting one's bed early, and loving to sit well and safely upon a horse. What innocent and natural delights are they, when he seeth the day breaking forth those blushes and roges which poets and writers of romance only paint, but the huntsman truly courts! when he heareth the chirping of small birds perching upon their dewy boughs! when he draws in the fragancy and coolness of the air! How jolly is his spirit, when he suffers it to be imported with the noise of bugle-horns and the baying of hounds, which leap up and play round about him !
“ Nothing doth more recreate the mind, strengthen the limbs, whet the stomach, and clear up the spirit, when it is heavy, dull, and overcast with gloomy cares; from whence it comes, that these delights have merited to be in esteem in all ages, and even amongst barbarous nations, by the lords, princes, and highest potentates.
“ Then, it is admirable to observe the natural instinct of enmity and cunning, whereby one beast being as it were confederate with man, by whom he is maintained, serves him in his designs upon others. How perfect is the scent of a hound, who never leaves it, but follows it through innumerable changes and varieties of other scents, even over and in the water, and into the earth! Again, how soon will a hound fix his eye on the best and fattest buck, single him out, and follow him, and him only, without changiny, through a whole herd of deer, and leave him not till he kills him ! Moreover, is it not delightful and pleasant to observe the docibleness of dogs, which is as admirable as their understanding? For as a right huntsman knows the language of his hounds, so they know him, and the meaning of their own kind, as perfectly as we can distinguish the voices of our friends and acquaintance from such as are strangers.
" Again, how satisfied is a curious mind, nay, exceedingly delighted to see the game fly before him! and after that it hath withdrawn itself from his sight, to see the whole line where it hath passed over, with all the doublings and cross works which the amazed and frighted beast hath made, recovered again ; and all that maze wrought out by the intelligence which be holds with dogs! this is most pleasant, and as it were a master-piece of natural magic. Afterwards, what triumph there is to return with victory and spoils, having a good title both for appetite and repose.
Neither must it be omitted that herein there is an especial need to hold a strict reign over our affections, that this pleasure, which is allowable in
may not intrench upon other domestical affairs There is great danger lest we be transported with this pastime, and so ourselves grow wild, hunting the woods till we resemble the beast which are citizens of them; and by continual conversation with dogs, become altogether addicted to slaughter and carnage, which is wholly dishonourable, being a servile employment. For as it is the privilege of man, who is endued with reason, and authorized in the law of his creation, to subdue the beasts of the field, so to tyrannize over them too much is in plain English brutish.
“ Mistake me not: I intend this reflection not for the nobility and gentry of this nation, whose expense of time in this noble and delightful exercise can nowise prejudice their large possessions, since it is so far from being very chargeable, that it is exceedingly profitable to the bodily health of such who can dispense with their staying at home without any injury to their families.
"I might much enlarge myself in the commendation of hunting, but that I am loath to detain you too long from the knowledge of what will make a right and perfect huntsman ; I shall, therefore, thus conclude : No music can be more ravishly delightful than a pack of hounds in full-cry, to such a man whose heart and ears are so happy to be set to the tune of such charming instruments.”
The writer then proceeds to notice " those terms of art huntsmen, foresters, and woodmen use, when they are discoursing of their commendable and highly-recreative profession :" but, as they vary little from the terms used in our days, I shall pass ihem over, as I shall his remarks on hounds and other sporting dogs, merely remarking that some of the names of foxhounds and beagles appeared to me to be very harmonious : Singwell, Soundwell, Truelips, Tunewell, Truescent; while other were more eccentric than euphoniousFuddle, Jollyboy, Lillups, and Yerker. The author, who in his way is as quaint as Pepys, then remarks that “the hunting used by the ancients was much like that way which is at present taken (A.D. 1666) with the reindeer, which is seldom hunted at force or with hounds, but only drawn after with a bloodhound and forestallid with nets and engines. So did they will all beasts ; and, therefore, a dog is never commended by them for opening before he hath by signs discovered where the beast lyeth in his lair, as by their drawing stiff our harbourers are brought to give right judgment. Therefore I do not find that they were curious in the music of their hounds, or in a composition of their kennel or pack, either for deepness or loudness, or sweetness of cry, like to ours. Their huntsmen were accustomed to shout and make a great noise, as Virgil observes in the third of his Georgies, Ingentem clamore premes ad retia ceruum,' so that it was only with that confusion to bring the deer to the nets laid for him; but we comfort our hounds with loud and courageous cries and noises, both of voice and horn, that they may follow over the same way that they saw the hart pass, without crossing or coasting.
“ The Sicilian way of hunting was this: When the nobles or gentry were informed which way a herd of deer passed, giving notice to one another, they appointed a meeting, and every one brought with him a cross-bow or a long-bow and a bundle of staves. These staves have an iron spike at the bottom, and their head is bored with a cord drawn
through all of them ; their length is about four foot. Being thus provided they come to the herd, and there casting themselves about into a large ring, they surround the deer, and then every one of them receives a peculiar stand, and there, unbinding his faggot, ties the end of his cord to the other, who is set in the next station; then, to support it, sticks into the ground each staff about the distance of ten-foot one from the other ; then they take out feathers, which they bring with them, dyed in crimson for this very purpose, and fastened upon a thread which is tied to the cord, so that with the least breath of wind they are whirled round about. Those which keep the several stands withdraw and hide themselves in the next covert. After this, the chief-ranger enters within the line, taking with him only such hounds which draw after the herd, and coming near with their cry rouse them ; upon which the deer fly till they come towards the line, where they turn off towards the left, and still gazing upon the shaking and shining feathers, wander about them as if they were kept in with a wall or pale. The chiefranger pursues, and calling to every one by name, as he passeth by their stand, cries to them that they shoot the first, third, or sixth as he shall please; and if any one of them miss, and single out any other than that which was assigned by the ranger, it is counted a disgrace to him, by which means as they pass by the several stations the whole herd is killed by several hands. This relation is of undoubted truth, as you may find it in Pierius : his llieroplyhics,' lib. vii., chap. 6.
“Boar-hunting is very usual in France. In this sort of hunting the way is to use furious, terrible sounds and noises, as well of voice as horn, to make the chase turn and fly, because they are slow, and trust to their tusks and defence, which is agere aprum, to bait the boar. Whensoever the boar is hunted and stands at bay, the huntsmen ride in, and with swords and spears, striking on that side which is from their horses, wound or kill him. This is the French hunting ; but the ancient Romans, standing on foot or setting their knees to the ground and charging directly with their spear, did opponere ferrum and excipere aprum; for such is the nature of a boar, that he spits him. self with fury, running upon the weapon to come at his adversary; and so seeking his revenge, he meets with his own destruction. Though these wild boars are frequent in France, we have none in England; yet it may be supposed that heretofore we had, and did not think it convenient to preserve that game, for our old authors of hunting reckon them amongst the beasts of venery.
“ Of making a hunting-match its advantages and disadvantages.Since many persons of honour delight in good horses, both for hunters as well as gallopers, it may not be improper to speak a word in this place concerning the advantages or disadvantages which happen in making of hunting-matches; since he that proceeds cautiously and upon true grounds in matching his horse is already in a great measure sure of gaining the prize, at least if the proverb be true that a match well made is won.
“ The first thing to be considered by him that designs to match his horse, for his own advantage and his horse's credit, is this: that he do not flatter himself in the opinion of his horse, by fancying that he is swifter than the wind, when he is but a slow galloper, and that he is