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She (the hare) generally returns to the beat from which she was put up, running, as all the world knows, in a circle, or something sometimes like it, we had better say, that we may keep on good terms with the mathematical. At starting, she tears away at her utmost speed for a mile or more, and distances the dogs half way; she then returns, diverging a little to the right or left, that she may not run into the mouths of her enemies—a necessity which accounts for what we call the circularity of her course. Her flight from home is direct and precipitate : but on her way back, when she has gained a little time for consideration and stratagem, she describes a curious labyrinth of short turnings and windings, as if to perplex the dogs by the intri. cacy of her track.”

Compare this with Shakspere :

And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles,
How he outruns the wind, and with what care
He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles :

The many musits through the which he goes
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.

.

Mr. Ayton thus goes on :

“ The hounds, whom we left in full cry, continue their music without remission as long as they are faithful to the scent; as a summons, it should seem, like the seamen's cry, to pull together, or keep together, and it is a certain proof to themselves and their followers that they are in the right way. On the instant that they are at fault, or lose the scent, they are silent.

The weather, in its impression on the scent, is the great father of faults;' but they may arise from other accidents, even when the day is in every respect favourable. The intervention of ploughed land, on which the scent soon cools or evaporates, is at least perilous; but sheep-stains, recently left by a flock, are fatal: they cut off the scent irrecoverably—making a gap, as it were, in the clue, in which the dogs have not even a hint for their guidance."

Compare Shakspere again :

Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell;

And sometimes sorteth with a herd of deer;

Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear :
For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;

Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies,
As if another chace were in the skies.

66

One more extract from Mr. Ayton :

Suppose, then, after the usual rounds, that you see the hare at last (a sorry mark for so many foes) sorely beleaguered-looking dark and draggled—and limping heavily along--then stopping to listenagain tottering on a little—and again stopping; and at every step, and every pause, hearing the death-cry grow nearer and louder.

One more comparison, and we have exhausted Shakspere's description :

By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still;
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;

And now his grief may be compared well

To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.
Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:

For misery is trodden on by many,
And being low, never reliev'd by any.

Here, then, be it observed, are not only the same objects, the same accidents, the same movement, in each description, but the very words And oftentimes, when all are fast asleep,

This water doth send forth a dolorous groan. Some say that here a murder has been done,

And blood cries out for blood : but, for my part, I've guess'd, when I've been sitting in the sun,

That it was all for that unhappy hart. What thoughts must through the creature's brain have past !

Even from the topmost stone, upon the steep,
Are but three bounds—and look, sir, at this last;

O master! it has been a cruel leap.
For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race;

And in my simple mind we cannot tell
What cause the hart might have to love this place,

And come and make his deathbed near the well.
Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank,

Lull’d by this fountain in the summer-tide; This water was perhaps the first he drank

When he had wander'd from his mother's side.

In April here beneath the scented thorn

He heard the birds their morning carols sing: And he, perhaps, for aught we know, was born

Not half a furlong from that selfsame spring. Now, here is neither grass nor pleasant shade;

The sun on drearier hollow never shone;
So will it be, as I have often said,

Till trees, and stones, and fountain, all are gone.”
Gray-headed shepherd, thou hast spoken well;

Small difference lies between thy creed and mine :
This beast not unobserved by nature fell;

His death was mourn'd by sympathy divine.
The Being that is in the clouds and air,
That is in the

green
leaves
among

the

groves, Maintains a deep and reverential care

For the unoffending creatures whom he loves.

And now, too happy for repose or rest,

(Never had living man such joyful lot!)
Sir Walter walk'd all round, north, south, and west,

And gazed, and gazed upon that darling spot.
And climbing up the hill (it was at least

Nine roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter found
Three several hoof-marks which the hunted beast

Had left imprinted on the grassy ground.
Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried, “ Till now

Such sight was never seen by living eyes:
Three leaps have borne him from this lofty brow

Down to the very fountain where he lies.”

To commemorate the wondrous leap of the gallant stag, Sir Walter raised three pillars where the turf was grazed by the stag's hoofs, and he built a pleasure-house, and planted a bower, and made a cup of stone for the fountain.

*

I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost,

When one, who was in shepherd's garb attired,
Came

up

the hollow :-him did I accost,
And what this place might be I then inquired.
The shepherd stopp'd, and that same story told

Which in my former rhyme I have rehearsed.
A jolly place,” said he, “ in times of old !

But something ails it now; the spot is cursed.
You see these lifeless stumps of aspen

wood
Some

say that they are beeches, others elms-
These were the bower: and here a mansion stood,

The finest palace of a hundred realms.
The arbour does its own condition tell;

You see the stones, the fountain, and the stream;
But as to the great lodge! you might as well

Hunt half a day for a forgotten dream.
There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep,

Will wet his lips within that cup of stone;

And oftentimes, when all are fast asleep,

This water doth send forth a dolorous groan. Some say that here a murder has been done,

And blood cries out for blood : but, for my part, I've guess d, when I 've been sitting in the sun,

That it was all for that unhappy hart. What thoughts must through the creature's brain have past !

Even from the topmost stone, upon the steep,
Are but three bounds—and look, sir, at this last;

O master! it has been a cruel leap.
For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race;

And in my simple mind we cannot tell
What cause the hart might have to love this place,

And come and make his deathbed near the well.
Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank,

Lull’d by this fountain in the summer-tide; This water was perhaps the first he drank

When he had wander'd from his mother's side.

In April here beneath the scented thorn

He heard the birds their morning carols sing: And he, perhaps, for aught we know, was born

Not half a furlong from that selfsame spring. Now, here is neither grass nor pleasant shade;

The sun on drearier hollow never shone ;
So will it be, as I have often said,

Till trees, and stones, and fountain, all are gone."
Gray-headed shepherd, thou hast spoken well;

Small difference lies between thy creed and mine:
This beast not unobserved by nature fell;

His death was mourn'd by sympathy divine.
The Being that is in the clouds and air,
That is in the

green
leaves
among

the

groves, Maintains a deep and reverential care

For the unoffending creatures whom he loves.

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