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whirling storm-clouds of confusion and darkness, the “ tricksey spirit," still provident for its own perpetuation, by these very horrors and amazements bribes or compels even the good and wise to yield it wel

—and at least a passive support-in its next and final transformation, that of MILITARY DESPOTISM. In this, the fermented state, like a volcanic mountain, forms at length its crater and outlet; and through this pours forth its countless armies of demoralized fanatics, as so many rivers of lava, to spread through the surrounding realms a community of wickedness, wretchedness, and desolation.

• Let it not be objected, my Lord, that from mere caprice I have applied the opprobrious name of Jacobinism to various and discordant forms of folly and might. They are all one, or at least of one family, all united or at least confraternized by the same marked and distinct characters. In all alike the cry is evermore of RIGHTS-never of DUTIES; in all alike the scheme consists in principles of abstract reason, which, belonging only to beings equable and unchanging, are ABOVE man, while the materials, implements, and agency of its realization, are found in terror, secrecy, falsehood, cupidity, and all the passions and practices which are, or ought to be, below man. In all alike the appeal is made to the malignant or selfish feelings, and whether it be the liberty that is promised, as in the earlier, or dominion, as in the later, stage of Jacobinism, it is alike effected, by destroying all those objects and reciprocities of human virtue, which alone had precluded or diminished slavery.'-Letter to Mr. Justice Fletcher, on his Charge to the Grand Jury of Wexford at the Summer Assizes of 1814.

Art. VII.-Remarks on the Condition of Hunters, the Choice of

Horses, and their Management; in a Series of Familiar Letters.

By Nimrod. London. 8vo. 1831. SOME of the remarks we have already offered with respect to

the naval and military authorship of these days, may be applied, mutatis mutandis, to the case of contemporary sportsmen. Treatises on the subjects of fishing, shooting, and, above all, foxhunting, now appear frequently, and obtain a measure of circulation which, in newspaper phrase, 'speaks volumes' for the increase of literary habits among classes of persons whose predecessors took, in general, no interest in ink-shed. There are even periodical works devoted entirely to the affairs of the sporting world, which handle topics, in former times taboo to all the muses, with such spirit and liveliness, that they find many readers among the profanum vulgus.' These productions, especially the • New Sporting Magazine, which is far the best of its class in every respect, are, we believe, reprinted in the United States; and we often observe translations of choice articles from them (descriptions of fox-chases, steeple-chases, and so forth) in the

literary literary journals of the Continent, more especially of Germany, in the northern parts of which last country, particularly Hanover and Mecklenburg, many noblemen have of late been smitten with the ambition of rivalling their English friends in the management of the stud, and are already imitating then, with extraordinary success, in the style and fashion of the diversions of the turf and the chase.

Under such circumstances, we hope the readers of our journal will not accuse us of any unpardonable trespass, if we now and then permit ourselves to be seduced into a little discussion on a class of subjects with which, hitherto, we have very rarely interfered. We must claim the right to concern ourselves, on occasion, with whatever interests any considerable portion of our countrymen; and can see no reason why, in pages, the greater part of which has of late years been given to topics connected with the social condition of the poorer orders, room should not be found from time to time for some notice of those healthful recreations which, by binding the British gentry to the habits of country life, are, in truth, of more service to our agricultural labourers than a whole statute-book of enactments, professedly drawn up with a view to their benefit, could supply the place of: And so, without further preface, let us for once sympathize with what even Milton calls an unreproved pleasure:'

Listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering Morn,
From the side of some hoar, hill

Through the high wood echoing shrill.' In various old writersthe Mayster of the Game, for instancewe find lively pictures of the ancient English chase, which in many respects, no doubt, was of a more noble and manly nature than that of the present day. The wolf,* the bear, the boar, were among the favourite beasts of venery;' and none can doubt that the habit of pursuing such animals, independently of giving vigour to the frame, and strength to the constitution, must have nourished that martial ardour and fearless intrepidity, which, when exerted in the field of battle, generally won the day for our gallant ancestors. The hart, the stag, the hind, the roebuck, and the hare, are likewise constantly mentioned, as is also the wild or mertin-cat,

* There are sufficient documents to show that the wolf was hunted in England so lately as the fourteenth century; and, in the fifteenth, it was so common in Scotland, that the legislature, for the purpose of destroying the breed, enjoined every baron to hunt this animal four times within the year.–See the Black Acts, James I., 6, 115 ; James II., 6, 98. In the year 1281, a commission was granted by Edward I. to Peter Corbet, to hunt and destroy all the wolves he conld discover in the counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, Salop, and Stafford.—Rymer's Fædera, vol. ii. p. 168.

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now nearly extinct; but the fox does not appear to have been in-
cluded in the list of the Anglo-Norman sportsman. The first
public notice of this now much-esteemed animal occurs in the
reign of Richard II., which unfortunate monarch gives permission,
by charter, to the abbot of Peterborough to hunt the fox. In
Twice's Treatise on the Craft of Hunting,' Reynard is thus
classed :-

• And for to sette young Hunterys in the way
To venery, I cast me fyrst to go:
Of which 4 bestes be, that is to say,
The Hare, the Herte, the Wulf, and the Wild Boor;
But there ben other bestes 5 of the chase;
The Buck the first, the seconde is the Do;
The For the third, which hath hard grace,

The ferthe the Martyn, and the last the Roe.'
It is, indeed, quite apparent, that until at most a hundred and fifty
years ago, the fox was considered an inferior aninial of the chase,
the stag, buck, and even hare, ranking before him. Previously to
this period, he was generally taken in nets or hays, set on the out-
side of his earth : when he was hunted, it was among rocks and
crags, or woods inaccessible to horsemen ; such a scene, in short,
or very nearly so, as we have drawn to the life in Dandie Din-
mont's primitive chasse in Guy Mannering. If the reader will
turn to the author of Hudibras's essay, entitled Of the Bumpkin,
or Country Squire,' he will find a great deal about the hare, but
not one word of the fox. What a revolution had occurred before
Squire Western sat for his picture ! About half-way between
these pieces appeared Somerville's poem of “The Chase,' in which
fox-hunting is treated of with less of detail, and much less of
enthusiasm, than either stag-hunting or hare-hunting.

It is difficult to determine when the first regularly appointed pack of fos-hounds appeared among us.

Dan Chaucer gives us the thing in embryo :

• Aha, the fox! and after him they ran;
And eke with staves many another man.
Ran Coll our dogge, and Talbot, and Gerlond,
And Malkin with her distaff in her hond.
Ran cow and calf, and eke the veray hogges,
So fered were for berking of the dogges,
And shouting of the men and women eke,

They ronnen so, hem thought here hertes brake.'
At the next stage, no doubt, neighbouring farmers kept one or
two hounds each, and, on stated days, met for the purpose of
destroying a fox that had been doing damage in their poultry
yards. By-and-bye, a few couples of strong hounds seem io have

been

6

been kept by small country esquires, or yeomen, who could afford the expense, and they joined packs. Such were called trencher hounds-implying that they ran loose about the house, and were not confined in kennel. Of their breed it would be difficult to speak at this distance of time; but it is conjectured that they resembled the large broken-haired harriers, now to be met with in the mountainous parts of Wales, which, on good scenting days, are nearly a match for anything.--Slow and gradual must have been the transition to the present elaborate system; but we must waive the minutiæ of sporting antiquarianship.

In no one instance has the modern varied from the ancient system of hunting more than in the hour of meeting in the morning. Our forefathers threw off the pack so soon as they could distinguish a stile from a gate, or, in other words, so soon as they could see to ride to the hounds. Then it was that the hare was hunted to her form by the trail, and the fox to his kennel by the drag. Slow as this system would now be deemed, it was a grand treat to the real sportsman. What, in the language of the chase, is called

the tender-nosed hound,' had an opportunity of displaying himself to the inexpressible delight of his master; and to the fieldthat is, to the sportsmen who joined in the diversion--the pleasures of the day were enhanced by the moments of anticipation produced by the drag. As the scent grew warmer, the certainty of finding was confirmed; the music of the pack increased; and, the game being up, away went the hounds in a crash.'' Both trail and drag are at present but little thought of; hounds merely draw over ground most likely to hold the game they are in quest of, and thus, in a great measure, rely upon chance for coming across it; for if a challenge be heard, it can only be inferred that a fox has been on foot in the night—the scent being seldom sufficient to enable the hound to carry it up to his kennel. Advantages, however, as far as sport is concerned, attend the present hour of meeting in the field. Independently of the misery of riding many miles in the dark, which sportsmen of the early part of the last century were obliged to do, the game, when it is now aroused, is in a better state to encounter the great speed of modern hounds, having had time to digest the food which it has partaken of in the night, previously to its being stirred. But it is only since the great increase of hares and foxes that the aid of the trail and drag could be dispensed with, without the frequent recurrence of blank days, which now seldom happen.

Compared with the luxurious ease with which the modern sportsman is conveyed to the field-either lolling in his chaise and four, or galloping along, at the rate of twenty miles an hour, on a hundred guinea hack—the situation of his predecessor was all but distressing. In proportion to the distance he had to ride by starlight, were his hours of rest broken in upon; and, exclusive of the time which that operation might consume, another serious one was to be provided for. This was, the filling his hair with powder and pomatum until it could hold no more, and forming it into a well-turned knot, or club, as it was called, by his valet, which cost commonly a good hour's work. The protecting mud-boot, the cantering hack, the second horse in the field, were luxuries unkuown to him; and his well-soiled buckskins, and brown-topped boots, would have cut an indifferent figure in the presence of a modern connoisseur by a Leicestershire cover-side. Notwithstanding all this, however, we are inclined strongly to suspect that out of a given number of gentlemen taking the field with hounds, the proportion of really scientific sportsmen may have been in favour of ihe olden times.

ing.

In the horse called the hunter, a still greater change has taken place. The half-bred horse of the early part of the last century was, when highly broken to his work, a delightful animal to ride, in many respects more accomplished, as a hunter, than the generality of those of the present day. When in his best form, he was a truly - shaped and powerful animal, possessing prodigious strength, with a fine commanding frame, considerable length of neck, a slight curve in his crest, which was always - high and firm, and the head beautifully put on. Possessing these advantages, in addition to very great pains taken with his mouth in the bitting, and an excellent education in the school or at the bar, he was what is termed a complete snaffle-bridle horse, and a standing as well as a flying leaper, Held well in hand—his rider standing up in the stirrups, holding him fast by the head, making the best of, and being able to pick or choose, his ground-such a horse would continue a chase of some hours' duration, at the pace he was called upon to go, taking his fences well and safely to the last ;—and he would frequently command the then large sum of one hundred guineas. But all these accomplishments would never have enabled a horse of this description to carry the modern sportsman, who rides well up to hounds, on a good scenting day, over one of our best hunting countries. His strength would be exhausted before he had gone ten minutes by the increased pace at which he must be called upon to travel, but to which his breeding would be quite unequal; and his true symmetry, his perfect fencing, his fine mouth, and all his other points, would prove of very little avail. If ridden close to the hounds, he would be powerless and dangerous before he had gone across half a dozen Leicestershire enclosures. The increased pace of hounds, and that of the horses that follow

them,

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