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and fostered him. Ungrateful wretch; he reminds one of the treatment Polyphemus met with at the hands of Ulysses

"He ate his mutton, drank his wine,

And then he poked his eye out."

As for the captain, what could he say? Vox faucibus hæsit; he looked aghast-and well he might-but said nothing. The squire was polite enough to storm at the keeper, and to threaten him with dismissal if he trapped foxes; every one knows that he does trap them, and he it appears will not know it.

Let us hope, for the credit of the country, that repetitions of such a scene be never witnessed there again; let us hope that such a spirit may prevail amongst cover owners, that when a master of hounds winds up the season, he might be able to fill a bumper, and say, "Gentlemen, from the bottom of my heart, I thank ye all for the noble sport we have had; to your liberal and cordial support of me, by preserving foxes, are we indebted for it. May you live long to enjoy the noble science."




There is also another story told of the celebrated Dick Knight being beaten by his hunted fox, even after he had got him into the kennel, on February 22nd, 1790. The Pytchley hounds, at that time the late Lord Spencer's, met at Buttock's Booth. After finishing their first run, they found an afternoon fox at a cover called Gib Close, which they ran through Moseley Wood and by Broughton village, up to Pytchley House, and into the kennel where the hounds. were then kept. Dick Knight shut the hounds up in one of the courts, and whipped out the fox from the lodging-room, where he had concealed himself. As soon as he was at liberty, and the hounds laid on his line, he ran for the sand-walk; where he was viewed several times, with the hounds close at his brush, but at last he went away from the sand-walk, and got into the head of earths, which had been imperfectly stopped, narrowly escaping with his life, as he was viewed frequently in the midst of the pack.

Amongst the numerous instances of my being beat and cheated of

* From an old manuscript, entitled "Pytchley Chase-book."

my fox, the following is worth relating, and which proves how careful a huntsman should be to stand close to the mouth of the drain or earth when blood is the object in view. After a long, slow run of one hour and a half from Hay Wood, my hounds run a fox to ground, in the month of October; we dug him, and although I had him in my hand and condemned, to gratify a good preserver of foxes in the neighbourhood, I ordered the whipper-in to put him down in the next meadow, being more easily persuaded by an improvement in the scent during the last twenty minutes of the first run. After two minutes' law, the hounds were laid on the line, and away they went for eighteen minutes like pigeons to ground again in a large main drain leading from a fish-pond at Springfield, the seat of J. Boultbee, Esq., as good a judge of hunting and as great a friend to foxes as ever rode a nag. I requested the pond-sluice to be turned, and booked the fox "dead as a stone." I was almost feeling for my knife to brush him, and stood about fifty yards from the mouth of the drain to allow the pack to have a clear run at him as he came out; with breathless anxiety we watched the clouded water as it streamed out over the greensward. "Here he comes! here he comes! here he comes!" And, sure enough, he did come, attended by his three sons.



Tally-ho! by Jove! we're beat again: our old friend slipped through the next hedge, and the hounds hung to a fresh one; we could not stop them until too late, and found ourselves at five o'clock at night in a great woodland without blood. I can only add I have always since taken better care in similar cases. Another time we were beat in a very singular manner: we had run a cub to ground early in the morning in Ryton Wood, and as the sun was getting up and little probability of getting blood on that day, except by digging the fox which we had marked, it was resolved to have him out; the spout was not a very deep one, and the hounds had marked the end of it, and had scratched down upon the fox, while I was keeping the other hole safe by standing in it until one of the whips returned with a spade. The baying of the hounds at the further end so alarmed an old badger, who was the lawful possessor of the said earth, that he immediately determined to make his exit at my end, and charging me with all the force he could muster, and getting between my legs, fairly put me on my back; the hounds, of course, seized him before he had run fifty yards, and the cub, taking this opportunity of decamping, effected his escape, to the great mortification of the whole party.

Trying as the circumstance of being frequently beaten by your fox is, I think accidents to the hounds are by far more annoying. In the neighbourhood of coal-pits and mines, hounds sometimes disappear rather suddenly, and when hunting near rocks and cliffs, fall over, and are thus destroyed. They are also now and then hung up in poachers' wires, by which, if not downright killed, they are occa

*This accounted for the disappearance of the remainder of a litter of cubs, out of which we had killed one, about a month before, from an adjoining cover, where they were bred.

sionally seriously injured in their limbs and toes. Keepers' traps, set either for vermin or rabbits, dreadfully annoy hounds, where they may, either through neglect or spite, have been left without being struck. It had used to be fearful work, some years back, before the railroad had knocked up all the long coaches: if the road home lay along a turnpike on which there was much travelling, and the night was very dark and foggy, it was with great difficulty you could sometimes move the hounds out of the way before the mail, or some other ten-mile-an-hour vehicle, came right upon you, the thick fog or sleet preventing your seeing its approach till nearly upon the backs of the hounds. When Mr. Warde's hounds were coming home one night, along the old Bath road, near Hungerford, a heavy Bristol van came right amongst them, running over one hound called Voucher, the wheel passing over his loins; yet he recovered, and lived to be a favourite stud hound afterwards. When hounds are travelling, they are liable to many accidents, unless under the care of most experienced and vigilant attendants, from being shut up in improper and ill-ventilated places, such as old outhouses, small stables, &c., &c. The following extraordinary accident is one instance of a pack of hounds being entrusted to persons on a journey, whose ignorance and inexperience but ill qualified them for the attendance of such valuable animals:-On the 10th of July, 1844, Mr. Thomas Shaw Hellier removed his hounds, horses (sixteen in number), &c., from his kennel in Warwickshire, where he had hunted several seasons, to Coventry, and thence by railroad to Nottingham en route for Louth in Lincolnshire, to which country-namely, the South Wold-Mr. Hellier was about taking.

The hounds were in two horse-boxes, and on their arrival at Nottingham one box having a greater number in than the other, it was truly lamentable to see, on the box being opened, the state the poor animals, as well as the man who had the care of them, were in; all being nearly exhausted from the heat arising from the crowded state of the box: several of them were actually dead, and others died upon being admitted into the open air: in fact, seven couples of the hounds died from the occurrence.

Speaking before of accidents from poachers' wires recalls to my recollection a curious circumstance which occurred some time ago with the Atherston hounds, while drawing a cover of Mr. Chadwick's near Blithbury. A hound was missing from an osier bed after it had been drawn; and upon the whipper-in going back to look for him, he discovered him, after searching some time, fast by the nose, at the end of a poacher's line, having improvidently taken the bait laid for a pike, and which the flood had probably washed on shore.

During the time I was hunting on the Yorkshire coast, I never met with anything like a bad accident, although the hounds on one occasion killed their fox on the top of a bank above the sea, which gave way while they were worrying him, and let them down about thirty feet upon the sands; it was not sufficient to injure them, but it knocked out the wind, and the fox ran away for one hundred yards

into the breakers, before they laid hold of him a second time and finished him. Mr. Hodgson, who was in the Holderness country fourteen years previous to his taking Leicestershire (to which country I have just alluded), met with a far more serious misfortune in 1838, being his last season in Yorkshire, and which is one of the most melancholy disasters that ever befel a pack of hounds in chase. They had run their fox from the neighbourhood of Burton Agnes to the Speeton Cliffs, which are about four miles to the north of that wellknown point Flamborough Head; being near their fox they flung themselves too close to the edge of the precipice, and in their ardour four or five couples went down the distance of two hundred feet, some were dashed to pieces, while others escaped by lodging in their descent upon some parts of the rock which jutted out. Ned, the whipper-in, with great gallantry descended in a basket, and by his fortitude and exertions some of them were carried up and restored to the pack. The fox, however, escaped by some means or other into a cleft in the rock. What Mr. Hodgson's feelings at this dreadful moment must have been, can be better imagined than described. When he viewed from the summit of this awful precipice his favourites writhing in the agonies of a lingering death, while their piteous howlings were only responded to by the greedy and fiend-like scream of the sea-bird, or the dismal croaking of the raven as he watched his mangled prey from an adjoining rock.

With regard to horsing the men belonging to a pack of foxhounds, I shall write but a few words, as the system of managing hunters used for that purpose is, or rather ought to be, exactly similar to the one pursued in the care of the first studs in the country. No animals in the creation work harder than the horses of a huntsman or whipper-in who rides hard and does his duty, particularly in a woodland country; nor is the proof of condition put to the test more frequently than in the long-tiring chases, which horses attendant on a pack of hounds are continually experiencing. To say nothing of the respectability of a well mounted and properly appointed establishment, the purchasing good-shaped and fresh young horses will be found far less expensive in the end, than picking up cheap under-bred brutes which may be half worn out before they enter the service. Beckford justly observes, that it is highly essential to mount the men well, "and that there is no economy in giving them bad horses: they take no care of them, but wear them out as soon as they can, that they may have others." It is wonderful how almost all horses which are continually being badgered about learn to take care of themselves when they have had enough; good seasoned hunters of this description are invaluable in a kennel-stud, to put the under-whips on, as they will go on at a certain pace for ever; they never are killed by distress, and are invariably good fencers, which is a consideration of the first importance. Some men will declare that anything which will go fast enough will do to carry a whipper-in; but persons who make these sorts of ridiculous assertions only expose their gross ignorance, and {evidently set forth to the world the slight experience

they must have had in all hunting matters. Nine foxes out of ten which are lost at the end of good runs, and which undoubtedly ought to have been killed, owe their escape to no other circumstance in the world than the men's horses being so beaten that no assistance can be given to the hounds at a time when they most require it. For this reason a huntsman should invariably have a second horse out; and if another spare horse was always in readiness for either of the whippers-in who might stand in need of it, it would be all the better, and, in the end, considerably save the wear and tear in the huntingstable. I recollect many years ago an excellent run in Northamptonshire, from Stamford Hall (Mr. Otway Cave's), when Sir Chas. Knightley hunted that country; Jack Wood, of whom I have spoken before, was at that time huntsman (previous to his going into Warwickshire), and his horse being dead beat near the end of the day, close to the Hermitage, Mr. Whitworth, the sporting draper of Northampton, whom many of my readers will recollect as a hard rider, offered him his nag, which was still comparatively fresh, which he immediately mounted, and getting forward with his hounds, killed his fox at Brampton Wood, after a most severe run of upwards of an hour and a half. This act of kindness and attention towards a huntsman was not thrown away, as it was the cause of Mr. Whitworth selling his horse on the following day, to a gentleman in Leicestershire, for two hundred and fifty guineas. Some horses last much longer than others, partly owing to the strength of their constitutions, but more especially to the care with which they have been ridden over the country, and the manner in which they are kept during the


In some hunts the horses for the servants are jobbed by the season; and where a pack of hounds are kept up by subscription, without any certainty of their being continued from one year to another, it may be found to answer; but it is a disreputable way of doing business, to say the best of it. The horses, from lameness or some other cause, are continually being changed, and by their not being accustomed to be ridden amongst hounds, frequently kick and injure them. With regard to the danger of kicking, I can speak most feelingly, having suffered with a fractured limb from the very cause I have been mentioning. Amongst the many speculators in horse-flesh who have attempted to provide hunters for the above purpose, none have ever succeeded in giving satisfaction to their employers, excepting Mr. Tilbury; and his extreme liberality, and constant desire to accommodate those gentlemen who have been induced to hire hunters from his yard, have no doubt been the chief reasons for his having almost an entire monopoly in that description of business.

To give general satisfaction to all classes who may be interested in the operations of a hunting establishment will, I fear, be found a task too difficult for any one, however indefatigable and courteous he may be, to accomplish. Each side of the country ought to be hunted fairly, the bad with the good; and this system, when impartially pursued, will be found more likely to produce a continuance of sport,

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