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But as I gazed, around me many cheers

Announced the presence of some glorious fun;

I turned, and saw-screened from the scorching sun-
My friend had vaulted o'er his horses ears!

"Help, help!" he cried, and then a buxom wench,
Laughing, exclaimed, “La, zur, you roll
By far too low to see the winning poll;
You'd better mount, or climb to yonder bench!"

In vain he tried-the beast would turn away;
So homewards then by turns each led the horse,
The people shouting from the racing course,
At our misfortunes on the Derby day.

Friends, take advice; when you to races go
Ride in a carriage-but beware of hacks;
Ay! rather run than get upon their backs,
Or you, like us, may make a walking show!

SPORTING WRITERS.

BY NIMROD.

Colonel Cook makes the following observation on the hour of meeting with hounds, which is striking. "In modern times hunting early is unnecessary: the breed of hounds, the feeding, and the whole system is so much improved, that the majority of foxes are found and killed in the afternoon-i. e., after twelve o'clock. In former times, the only advantage of finding a fox early must have been that his belly was full; for, perhaps, he had scarcely finished his repast by that time in the morning. In the present day we are anxious to find a stout fox; and instead of his being full, we wish him to be as empty as possible, and to stand one hour and twenty minutes, the best pace, before hounds." I consider this a great compliment to the modern system of breeding and management of hounds, but the Colonel would have gone far enough had he stopped at the end of an hour. My experience tells me, that a run of an hour is as much as hounds ought to have, to do their work well to the end; and after that period horses of the best stamp begin to flag, and there is no longer much pleasure in riding them. From forty-five minutes to an hour is the. true thing with hounds, when the scent serves well; and your long runs, through a score parishes, though often boasted of in the newspapers, are slovenly performances for the most part, and very properly called "journeys," by the Melton men.

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The Colonel's experience as a huntsman led him to the conclusion, that on an average, the scent of the fox is better after nine o'clock than before; and on the subject of cub hunting, he gives the following valuable hint. "I do not approve of working hounds in very hot weather; I know, from experience, it is sometimes attended with fatal consequences." He then mentions an instance of his once running an old fox (which he thought was a cub by his not breaking) in cover, on a warm summer's morning, and killing him at the cost of three of his best hounds, who died in convulsions in consequence of their great exertions. They were all got by the Duke of Beaufort's famous Justice of those days. The Colonel adds, "This unfortunate circumstance caused me ever afterwards to pay double attention to that material point, condition."

Our author insists upon it, that if fox-hunting should be annihilated, our breed not only of horses but of men would degenerate, and the characteristic of our nation would be changed. "Instead of the hardy, open-hearted, liberal-minded Briton, you would see nothing but an effeminate race, that would only meet once a year at a grand battue to shoot a tame pheasant, and that would be the only chasse in England." This is the language of an Englishman, and I acquiesce in the sentiment it conveys. Then amongst other advantages belonging to fox-hunting, the bringing together the different classes of society is far from one of the least, to say nothing of its benefit to trade, and the agricultural interest throughout.

On the speed of hounds the Colonel says, "There are those who think hounds go too fast, and fancy a fox has no chance with them. How is it, then, he so often beats them? No doubt if hounds, on a good scenting day, go away close at his brush, they have a prospect of killing him, if they do not change, which will often happen where foxes are plentiful. In the long runs we read of, an end, when hounds are beat, unless they have gone a very slow pace, to a certainty the pack must have changed foxes; and nothing disheartens hounds so much as changing. Perhaps no fox can stand more than an hour, the best pace, before hounds of the present day, excepting in the Roothings of Essex, and in some parts of Suffolk, where I have seen them run an hour and twenty minutes."

On the naming of hounds, the Colonel says, dog hounds are generally named from heroes, ancient and modern, and "there is scarcely a pack in England that does not boast its Wellington." This is not to be wondered at, and it reminds me of an answer a clergyman once made to me in reply to a question I put to him, relating to the late Duke of Beaufort's hounds. "I have hunted with the Duke," said he, "more than twenty years, but I only knew the names of two hounds in the pack, and these because one of them was called Wellington, and the other had but one eye."

Speaking of what some persons call cockney sportsmen, our author says he found many good sportsmen in, and in the neighbourhood of, London, "well mounted, and riding well to hounds." I can back the Colonel here; and I have long since expressed my admiration of Tom Hill, when he hunted the Surrey hounds, with a most difficult country to deal with. Nor were the Jolliffes and their hunts

man, the Union Pack (Surrey), and their huntsman, less deserving of praise.

On the subject of blood to hounds, the Colonel and myself do not exactly pull together. "When much in want of it," he says, "leave an earth open in a country where you can spare a fox; dig him, and give him to the hounds on the earth, and then go home." I say, unless very speedily done, a bit of horse-flesh would do as much good. In my opinion, a good commentary on the above passage is to be found in the following one from our author. "I knew a pack that went from Hampshire-a bad scenting country-to a good scenting part of Suffolk and Essex, where the cubs were all taken or destroyed, it not being known any one would hunt the country: notwithstanding these disadvantages, subsequent to the first of November they killed fourteen brace of foxes (old ones, observe, reader), and most of them with good runs. I attributed their great sport to a favourable change of country, but they were a gallant pack, and three parts of them of Lord Egremont's sort." Here is the secret-the change of soil-ergo, better scent. No man can persuade me that hounds that had never tasted a fox would not run into him at the end of an hour, with a good holding scent. If not, how was it that Mr. Corbet's pack ran a dog for an hour, and killed him? It did not, however, follow that because they had once tasted dog's blood, they ever hunted dog again. It was purely an accidental circumstance-a red cur dog having been hollooed away, and the pack capped to the scent.

Our author thinks no animal of the canine race has so fine a nose as the foxhound has. He instances a pointer of his own, got by a foxhound, which could find game which others had passed by without minding.

The Colonel thinks a pack of fifty couples will hunt four days a week. I should say he is under the mark, allowing for accidents, and hot bitches after Christmas. He is right, however, when he says, "divide your kennel into two separate packs; for hounds always hunted together will give less trouble, be more handy, and not so jealous of each other. Never rob either pack to make up the number of the other; even sixteen couples that know each other will do the thing better by themselves, and if well matched, will carry a good head across a country, and not appear contemptible either. How disgusting it is to see a large pack out, and only a few couples at head! In runs across the open, nothing has a more unsightly appearance than detached bodies of hounds scattered all over the country; and in woodlands, with several foxes on foot, there is a still worse prospect, and less chance of their again uniting: the division of hounds on your hunted fox becomes weaker every minute, your ears are annoyed by tongues on a variety of scents, whilst your head of hounds dwindles away to nothing, and you are left at last, trotting your horse without three hounds up on the line." These are the words of a practical sportsman, and the passage is one of the best in the book.

We have a good anecdote touching the chasse in France. During

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire packs now seldom exceed 17 couples.-N.

our author's residence in that country, he had ten couples of foxhounds sent to him to forward to a friend; but previously to despatching them, he resolved on having one day's hunting with them. Permission being granted to him by a resident Duke, he was met at the cover side by his keepers, in their state liveries, who, every time a hare or rabbit got up before the hounds when drawing, exclaimed, "Sacré bleu, les chiens Anglois ne sont bon a' vien; they will not hunt either hares or rabbits." The Colonel describes himself mounted for the occasion on a Norman mare, with a cow's horn in his hand, which in so large a cover might be necessary with hounds a little wild, which we may suppose these to have been after a long rest from hunting. Then he tells another good story of a French gentleman with hounds in England. On a fox being headed back into the mouth of the pack, almost immediately after his breaking from a gorse cover, he rode up to the master, saying-"Sir, I congratulate you on catching him so soon, and with so little trouble." Our author next alludes to the late Hon. Martin Hawke's pack of foxhounds at Tours, chiefly used to hunt the wild boar, and pays a handsome compliment to their owner as a sportsman of the first class, which he was. "I have no doubt," he says, "the thing is as well done as it

can be."

Alluding to accidents in hunting, the Colonel says, "they most commonly occur to men attempting to leap large fences when their horses are blown." And of the salubrity of hunting generally, he has the following remarkable passage:

"During my sojourn in France (now a number of years), I have had to lament the loss of many of my friends and acquaintances; yet though the majority of my friends are fox-hunters, it is not a little singular that I have only lost one of that description during the whole period of my absence." This speaks forcibly for the healthiness of our amusement-so stick to it, if you wish for longevity.

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The Colonel recommends the patronage of fox-hunting by the female sex, and has no objection to see some of them occasionally grace the field by their presence. In unmarried ladies," he says, "it looks well, showing a disposition to promote their brothers' amusement, and, in consequence, promotes domestic happiness; and the wife will find it is the surest way to keep her husband, and prevent his running riot."

The worst passage in the book is the following, evincing a little of what is called in old hounds, " tying too long on the scent"-in other words, prejudice against innovations, which are improvements.

"Horses, according to the present system of riding, unless it should be a very long day, have little to do, not sufficient to keep them in wind; la mode is to have two or three out each day. Light weights can have no excuse for this practice, unless they have some bad ones which they wish to sell. A horse that is in good condition, and cannot go for an hour the best pace with twelve stone upon his back, is not worth the corn he eats; and in a long hunting chase, he likewise ought not to tire. What merit is there in being with the hounds, if you have a fresh horse to mount every fifteen minutes? In my opinion, a man who sees the most of a run of an hour on one horse, and

is in when the hounds kill their fox, deserves the most credit as a rider to hounds."

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I consider what is called the second-horse system to have many vantages. In the first place it is humane; in the next it is economical; and lastly, it is a means of safety, inasmuch as the worst accidents with hounds occur by horses falling when ridden at stiff fences, when "the wind has been pumped out of them," to use a sporting term. What enabled Lord Gardner, two seasons back, to be the only man with the hounds, by leaping a park wall six feet high, but his having a second horse brought up to him just before, and quite fresh at the time? The bringing up the second horse quite fresh, however, is at times a difficult task, although now generally well performed in the crack countries by servants who have a perfect knowledge of the country, and a good directing eye as to the line the fox is taking.

On the height of hounds, our author takes his cue from Mr. Meynell of former days, who was less particular on that point than some subsequent masters have been, insisting on generally-perfect shape, and an equality of size; and he associates the hound with the horse in this matter, quoting the words of the late Mr. Warde, namely, that the height of a horse has nothing to do with the size of him. It is here intended to imply that it is the most power condensed within a certain frame that constitutes perfection in animals which are called upon to endure fatigue.

The Colonel has ornamented his book with a portrait of the celebrated Mr. Meynell, from a picture of him when young by the celebrated Sir Joshua Reynolds, accompanied by a short memoir of that eminent sportsman, from the pen of some friend, who says that " he spent twenty years of the most pleasing apprenticeship to him ;" thereby meaning, that he had hunted twenty seasons with him in Leicestershire, which certainly qualified him for the task. He next tells his friend, to whom his "observations" are supposed to be addressed, that as he supposes he may expect him to give him his idea of" perfection in a run," he is unwilling to disappoint him. He, however, devotes but nineteen lines (not pages) to the subject; no doubt finding it, as I myself found it, no easy task.

In his zeal for the good cause, he next proposes an annual exhibition of two couples of young hounds, by the several breeders of them, at Tattersall's, after the example of breeders of cattle; but the futility of this subject is clearly shown in Sir B. Graham's letter to me, heretofore alluded to:-" There is a plan proposed by the Colonel," he says, "although good in theory, I cannot conceive ever possible to reduce into practice with any prospect of success: I allude to that of each master of hounds showing for a prize the two cleverest puppies of his entry for the year. In the first place, how could it be decided? The hounds of Lord Lonsdale are as different from Sir John Cope's as it is possible to be-those of the Duke of Cleveland are equally so from those of Mr. Lambton: the man who is fond of a large hound will scarcely allow a small one any merit; and, to sum up all, there are hardly any two masters of hounds who agree in what is the perfect shape of a foxhound. To say that it bears the least analogy to an agricultural meeting is quite out of the question; there, a certain

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