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it possible to look into the hearts of those with whom we associate, and there read the opinions they really entertain of ourselves, the lesson, though totally upsetting the whole organization of society, would prove as instructive as it would unquestionably be disagreeable. Perhaps in London we have better opportunities than elsewhere of arriving, if we are not completely blinded by self-conceit, at our true value amongst our fellow-creatures. The young men of the present day are not prone, without some very cogent reasons, to conceal the unflattering opinion they seem to entertain of every one but themselves ; and certainly that insincerity which would fain disguise the truth, simply because it is disagrecable, is not the failing of the age we live in. As I sit here in a window of “the Munchausen,” and gaze upon the boundless prospect afforded by the opposite side of Pall-Mall, I study the manners and customs of the future promise of Great Britain, with a melancholy conviction that I am no longer one of themselves. Truth, however, compels me to state that the few years which confer upon me what is ironically termed “ the advantage” of them, totally fail to command that deference which, we are told, was in Lacedæmon the invariable tribute paid to old age. But little of the Spartan, save his courage, is to be traced in the Anglo-Saxon of the present day; and how that young gentleman now breakfasting on mulligatawney and old Madeira, at four P.M., would turn up his nose at black broth! But to return to my moralizing reflections on that position in society which I'have failed to attain--that very youth who, because I have not the honour of his acquaintance, thinks it right to gaze upon me with a supercilious stare, as though I were some curious piece of upholstery badly covered, may perhaps chance to ask the waiter the name of that rural-looking gentleman who occupied the table next to our youth's protracted breakfast. “Nogo!"-ah! twenty-one summers have shed their sunshine on his clustering locks, but he has never heard of Mr. Nogo, and therefore, with a power of reasoning, a grasp of induction that does honour to his intellect, he concludes Mr. Nogo must be a snob ! So much for the charitable opinions entertained on my behalf by those who cannot boast the advantage of my intimacy. Now for the deferential homage I am to expect from those who can. In swaggers young Graceless-a great man at “the Munchausen," and though, as I happen to know, and as a reference to the “ Army List " would bear me witness, no longer so very young as a slight figure and whiskers carefully shaved to the roots would lead the fair sex to suppose--yet by dint of buoyant spirits, consummate impudence, and unfailing tact, an authority amongst the juveniles those oracles there is no gainsaying.
" What, Nogo-my antediluvian !" says the irreverent joker, as he pats me on the back with a cordiality which the London man can afford in empty February, but which dries up to an imperceptible nod, and whispered, “ low-d'ye-do ?” in crowded June; " I didn't know you were alive--but how old you are looking, and how fat!” glancing down with unconcealed satisfaction at his whipping-post of a frame. “Well, I'm glad to see you. If you are going along Piccadilly, come vas far as Tatt's with me: Camarine's horses are to be sold, and I want to take the odds to a pony against “ Bareface.”
The old feeling steals upon me, and I link my arm in that of young Graceless, and ere I reach Hvile Park Corner the ruminations of the preceding half-hour have been forgotten ; Bath, Mrs. Nogo, domestic responsibilities, the increasing corpulency, the irretrievable decade, are as though they were not. Tattersall greets me with a nod that would seem to infer he had seen me every day for a fortnight ; and the ancient ambition, the foolish itching for sporting notoriety breaks out again as strong as ever. There is a chesnut mare of Lord Camarine's (a nobleman declining hunting for the best of all reasons, that his difficulties have forced him abroad), loudly celebrated by report for her capabilities as a fencer.
What an animal, on which to acquire distinction as a bruising rider in the hunting-field! Who is that gentleman, who ought to know better, bidding in hundreds for this patent-safety conveyance, originally purchased for forty pounds by the dealer, who let“ Camarine" have her as a favour at five hundred ? “ There is no fool like an old one !" that gentleman is Mr. Tilbury Nogo! Going! going! gone ! It matters little whether the costly purchase was destined to become his property, or that of some one obstinately determined to become even a greater fool than himself. Here let him take his leave of the patient reader, earnestly hoping that these few random sketches of his adventures, if they have failed to amuse, may at least have the credit of doing their best to warn that weary sufferer of the way in which he should not go-to point out to him the degrading annoyances, the petty vexations, that hover around the ill-omenied path of an Unsuccessful Man!
PROGRESS OF THE HUNTING SEASON.
Pallida mors æquo pulsat pede,
The late Duke of Wellington, as a patron of fox-hunting-Characteristics of the
season-Earl Fitzhardinge's hounds-Their sport in the Cheltenham country -Rumoured changes-The life of a huntsman, The last mournful duties of a sorrowful nation have been performed over the remains of Europe's greatest general, the late Duke of Wellington. The annals of history do not record another man who ever gained so many honours during his life, or who was attended to his last resting-place by so many distinguished marks of universal respect. The ceremony was observed with the pomp and ceremony befitting the occasion, and he now lies entombed in the national mausoleum of our island, side by side with the gallant Nelson. His Grace had the good fortune to achieve great triumphs, and he lived to know how highly they were appreciated, not only by his countrymen, but also by foreign powers ; in evidence of which the numerous distinctions with which in his lifetime he had been invested afford incontestible testimony. It is not necessary on this occasion to enumerate them ; but as a patron of his country's most admired and important of national sports, it is fitting
that the great Duke's name should be identified. When we contemplate the prevailing character of every action which distinguished the departed hero through a long and active life, it is no insignificant compliment to fox-hunting as a British sport to be enabled to include the name of the late Duke of Wellington among the most zealous admirers and supporters of the chase. Obedience to every call of duty was regarded by him as of paramount importance. Duty was with him the first of authorities. With inflexible perseverance he adhered to those mandates in all his transactions ; and with a similar spirit exacted it from others. Considering the great advantages which a taste for fox-bunting is calculated to inspire, his Grace gave unequivocal testimony of his support by contributing a large annual subscription to the Vine Hunt. The extensive coverts on the Strathfieldsaye estate were within the limits of the Bramshill Hunt; and if they were not always of late years plentifully stocked with foxes, it was quite at variance with the Duke's wishes. During many seasons he was a frequent attendant in the field both with the Vine and the late Sir John Cope's hounds. Increasing age must of necessity, latterly, have rendered these enjoyments less frequent ; and the numerous public duties which devolved upon him must doubtless
very often have prevented his attendance at the covert side. The annual meeting of the Bramshill hounds at Strathfieldsaye on the day after the judges were wont to be entertained at the festive board has been frequently recorded in these pages. It was an assemblage which the inhabitants of that neighbourhood always regarded with the greatest esteem ; when illustrious and distinguished personages mingled in the crowd to participate in the joys of a national amusement, open to all classes.
The scene has now closed upon the greatest man of this or any other age, whose noble actions are recorded as precedents, in whom patriotism was a most distinguishing feature, who sanctioned and supported fox-hunting from a conviction that it is calculated to promote an enterprising, bold, and manly spirit in those who follow it, and to dispense benefits to all who are connected with it. England has lost a leader
“ Like whom to mortal eyes
None ere has risen, and none ere shall rise." The unprecedented deluge of rain—at least unprecedented in modern times — with which the earth has been saturated during the whole of November and the present month, has rendered every country dreadfully deep, heavy, and distressing to horses. Many of the vales have been so continually flooded, that hunting in them has been, in places, impracticable ; but, as a compensation, scent has been generally good. In woodlands, scent seldom lies during the early part of the season till a sufficient quantity of rain has fallen to wet the leaves which lie on the ground ; but no complaint of that kind has existed on this occasionthey are thoroughly soaked and beaten down. Although most hounds have had more than an average share of sport, those which hunt in dry and billy countries have been most fortunate.
After a most satisfactory term of preparation in the important ordeal of cub-hunting, Earl Fitzhardinge's hounds arrived at their Cheltenham kennels on the 30th of October, in order to commence their regular campaign on the following Monday. A much larger number of hunting men had congregated at this place of fashionable resort than was ever known at a similar period of any previous season.
There are several reasons to be assigned for this : The vale countries were inundated— Cheltenham has gained an ascendancy over Leamington as hunting quarters, and the sway of fashion has great influence—but the paramount cause is, the very great repute which his Lordship's hounds have acquired ; and most justly, for they may challenge England for a combination of all the perfections which are capable of being concentrated in one pack. Their hunting faculties cannot be surpassed. For “ music” they have always been celebrated ; and whether picking a cold scent over the plough, racing over the grass, or working the intricate steps of the crafty animal through the labyrinths of gorse or woodland, they invariably speak to the scent, and thus make known their whereabouts. The wonderful head they carry is another subject for admiration. I could not fail on one occasion noticing the judicious system adopted to ensure this important property, and which is universally practised with them. The hounds had been running their fox some little time in covert, when he broke over a large grass field, and was viewed by one of the second horsemen, who hallooed him ; upon which two couples of hounds got to the halloo in advance of the pack. Coming up at the moment, and therefore enabled to see this, Ayris stopped them from getting on the line of scent till the body of the hounds arrived-a plan which I am satisfied is perfectly correct, although I have seen many huntsmen of celebrity who would go on with one or two couples of hounds, leaving the remainder to be got forward by the whippers-in ; but it is evident no real advantage is gained by so doing, and many objectionable circumstances follow. The motive for doing so is that the one or two couples of hounds being allowed to carry on the scent will show the line the fox has taken ; yet it must be remembered that hounds will not run so fast single-handed as when they are in a body: those that have thus got forward destroy the scent for those which are following ; and if the fences are strong, being obliged to creep, the practicability of carrying a head is defeated. Moreover, if it happens that a covert is at hand, and the fox enters and runs through it, the difficulty is increased; or even if he remains in the covert there will be much uncertainty in hunting up to bim, and a considerable time lost under any circumstances. There is also another objection, when there is a large field of horsemen out, in the danger which exists of having hounds ridden over, in their efforts to work their way through the crowd. As long as there are hounds forward, every man considers he is justified in riding to them ; and thus the greater portion of the pack is among the horses.
The first appointment made by Earl Fitzhardinge was at Puzedown, on Monday, November 1st ; and it is the best fixture in the Cheltenham country. The hounds found in the grove, ran there a considerable time, and killed their fox. They then proceeded to draw the new gorse, where they quickly got on the scent of another, with which they had a very smart run to Talbot's Plantations, where they lost him from the badness of scent.
Tuesday, 2nd.-Down Hatherly. Found in the Barrow Wood; ran him a short time, and killed him. There was another fox in the covert, but he was left there ; and they went to draw Norton Hill, where, with a bad scent, they got upon a bad fox, which served the purpose of blood.
Wednesday, 3rd. At Dumbleton. The first fox took the line to Lord Sudeley's, and effected his escape. They drew Shutcombe and found another, which ran through the covert to Dumbleton, where they probably changed ; from thence they ran to the Grange and over the Broadway-road, where they were obliged to give him up in consequence of the deficiency of scent, which had been bad all day.
Thursday, 4th.—Met at Lidcombe. A fine assemblage of the vulpine family. Ran their first fox to ground in the Jack Daw quarry, and went on to Hayles Wood ; found again, and had a pretty run to Lidcombe, through the covert to Wormington village, with a fair scent, but they were unable to taste him ; nevertheless it was a pretty day's sport.
Saturday, 6th.- The place of meeting Little Buckland, in the Broadway country. Found in Oldfield Brake ; had a very pretty run, and every one out was delighted ; when one of those abominations yelept a cur dog, assuming an importance above his station, chased the fox, and the hounds, being close up, ran into a very ancient specimen of the vulpine race. A second fox was at home in the Leasow Brake, which, after a capital run to Lidcombe Plantations, went to ground ; from whence he was dislodged and killed, and all went home highly delighted.
Monday, 8th.—Met at Westwood, and, despite a very thick fog, drew the covert and found ; ran to Hawling Scrubs, where they lost their fox. They then came back with the intention of drawing Puckham Scrubs ; but the fog increasing, the hounds were taken home.
Tuesday, 9th.—Garrick's House. Drew Cleveley Grove, and chopped a fox in Lower Sowdens. Found their second in Upper Sowdens, and ran into him in the plantations near Puzedown. After this they proceeded to Hazleton Down brake, from whence they had a very pretty five-and-twenty minutes nearly to Farmington Grove, which was undoubtedly the fox's point ; but the hounds made him their own before he could gain the covert, and on this day added three additional trophies to their kennel door.
Wednesday, 10th. -At Woodmancote village. Commenced in Badgengton Grove, found in the gorse, and ran at a great pace to Cirencester Woods ; through them with a capital scent, to ground at the tunnel. They ran very hard one hour and thirty minutes; the first seventeen minutes very quick.
On the 11th, in consequence of the excessively heavy rain that fell, the hounds did not leave their kennel.
Saturday, 13th.-Met at the Troopers' Lodge, in the Broadway country, and found a capital show of foxes in Bourton Wood, one of which, after running very hard, they marked to ground; but his fortification was too strong to admit of his being got out, and, in consequence of the fog, the hounds went home. The scent appeared to be very good.
Monday, 15th.-Star Wood. Found in Chedworth Wood, and, after running hard a considerable time, killed their fox. They then got up to another in the same covert, and stuck to him with a capital scent for two hours, when, unfortunately, the hounds divided, and the hunted fox saved his life.
Tuesday, 16th.-Talbot's Plantations. This favourite place of meeting is well stocked with foxes, and the first which they found was in a short time killed. The second went away for Eyford with a good scent,