תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

met with a passage which he could not comprehend, was used to write in the margin oppofite matiere embrouillée, and gave himself no fur. ther concern about it. As different causes have been known to produce the same effects, should yox treat me in like manner, I shall think it the feverest cenfure that can be pafled upon me. Our friend So. mervile, I apprehend, was no great fox.hunter; yet all he fays on the subject of hunting is so fenfible and just, that I fall turn to his account of fox-hunting, and quote is where I can.-The hour in the morning, most favourable to the diversion, is certainly an early cne; nor do I think I can fix it better than to say, the hounds should be at the cover at fan-rising. Let us suppose we are arrived at the cover fide,

- Delightful scene! Where all around is gay, men, horses, dogs; And in each smiling countenance appears

Fresh blooming health, and universal joy." * SOMERVILE. • Now let your huntsman throw in his hounds as quietly as he can, and let the two whippers-in keep wide of him on either hand, so that a single hound may not escape them; let them be attentive to bis balloo, and be ready to encourage, or rate, as that directs; he will, of course, draw up the wind, for reasons which I shall give in another place.- Now, if you can keep your Brother sportsmen in order, and pat any discretion into them, you are in lack; they more frequently do harm than good: if it be possible, persuade those, who with to halloo the fox off, to stand quiet under the cover side, and on no account to halloo him too soon : if they do, he most certainly will. turn back again : could you entice them all into the cover, your sport, in all probability, would not be the worse for it. :

How well the hounds spread the cover! the huntsman you see is quite deserted, and his horse, which so lately had a crowd at his heels, has not now one attendant left. How steadily they draw! you hear not a single hound; yet none are idle. Is not this better than to be subject to continual disappointment, from the eternal babbling of unsteady boonds?

See! how they range
Dispers’d, how busily this way and that,
They cross, examining with curious nose
Each likely haupi. Hark! on the drag I hear
Their doubtful notes, precluding to a cry

More nobly full, and swelld with every mouth." SOMERV. How musical their tongues !— Now as they get nearer to him, how che chorus fills ! Hark! he is found. - Now, where are all your for rows and your cares, ye gloomy fouls! Or where your pains, and aches, ye complaining ones! one hallod has dispelled them all.What a craih they make! and echo seemingly takes pleasure to repeat : he found. The astonished traveller forlakes his road, lored by its melody; the listening ploughman now ftops his plough; and every dillant Mepherd neglects his Rock, and runs to see him break. Wha: joy! what eagerneis in every face!

* How happy art thou, man, when thou'rt no more
Thy self! when all the pangs that grind thy soul, '.
w domu i kolo

ie wat when we were la

[ocr errors]

un hem.

lo rapture and in sweet oblivion loft,

Yield a short interval, and ease from pain !" SOMERV. Mark how he runs the cover's utmost limits, yet dares pot venture forth; the bounds are still too near. That check is lucky ;- now, if our friends head him not, he will soon be off-hark! they halloo : by G-d he's gone.

- Hark! what loud thouts
Re-echo thro' che groves! he breaks away :
Shrill horns proclaim his flight. Each ftraggling hound
Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack.

'Tis triumph all, and joy.". Now huntsman get on with the head hounds; the whipper-in will bring on the others after you : keep an attentive eye on the leading hounds, that should the scent fail them, you may know at least how far they brought it.

• Mind Galloper, how he leads them! It is difficult to diftinguish which is first, they run in such a style; yet be is the foremost hound.

-The goodness of his nose is not less excellent than his speed :—How he carries the scent! and when he loses it, see how eagerly he flings to recover it again. There—now he's ac head again see how they top the hedge! -Now, how they mount the hill!--Observe what a head they carry; and thew me, if you can, one shuffler or kirter amongst them all: are they not like a parcel of brave fellows, who, when they undertake a thing, determine to share its fatigue and its dangers equally amongst them.

Far o'er the rocky hills we range,
And dangerous our course; but in the brave
True courage pever fails. In vain the stream
In foaming eddies whirls, in vain the ditch
Wide gaping threatens death. The craggy steep,
Where the poor dizzy Thepherd crawls with care,
And clings to every twig, gives us no pain;
But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold
To pounce his prey. Then up ch' opponent hill,
By the swift motion flung, we mount aloft:
So thips in winter seas now sliding fipk
Adown the steepy wave, then toss'd on high
Ride on the billows, and defy the storm.”

SOMERV. It was then the fox I saw, as we came down the hill ; those crows directed me which way to look, and the sheep ran from him, as he paft along. The hounds are now on the very spot, yet the sheep ftop them noi, for they dash beyond them. Now see with what eagerness they cross the plain. Galloper no longer keeps his place, Brusher takes ic; see how he flings for the scent, and how impetuously he runs !-How eagerly he took the lead, and how he strives to keep it; yet Victor comes up apace.--He reaches him !-See what an excellent race it is between them!--It is doubtful which will reach the cover first.- How equally they run ;- how eagerly they Irain ; - ROW Victor,-Victor! Ab! Brusher, you are beat ; Victor forft tops she hedge. -See there! see how they all take it in their strokes ! the hedge cracks with their weight; so many jump at once.

• Now

Now hases the whipper-in to the other side the cover;-he is right, unless he heads the fox.

“ Heav'ns! what melodious trains ! how beat our hearts
Big with cumultuous joy! the loaded gales
Breathe harmony; and as the tempest drives
From wood to wood, thro' every dark recess

The forest thunders, and the mountains shake.” SOMERV. Listen !- the hounds have turned.-They are now in two parts: the fox has been headed back, and we have changed at last.

• Now, my lad, mind the huntsman's halloo, and stop to those hounds which he encourages. He is right; - that, doubtless, is the hunted fox :-Now they are off again

" What lengths we pass! where will the wand'ring chace
Lead us bewilder'd! smooth as swallows kim
The new-shorn mead, and far more swift we fly.
See my brave pack; how to the head they press,
Justling in close array, then more diffuse
Obliquely wheel, while from their op'ning mouths
The vollied thunder breaks.

Look back and view
The strange confufion of the vale below,
Where lore vexation reigns;

- --Old age laments
His vigour spent: the call, plump, brawny youth
Curses his cumbrous bulk; and envies now
The short pygmean race, he whilom kenn'd
With proud insuliing leer. A chosen few
Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath
Their pleafing coils."

SOMERV. Ha! a check. — Now for a moment's patience. We press too close upon the hounds.-Huntsman, ftand Nill: as yet they want you not.

-How admirably they spread! how wide they caft! is there a fingle hound that does not try? if such a one there be, he ne'er shall hunt again. There, Trueman is on the scent; he feathers, yet fill is doubtful; ’ris right! how readily they join him! See those wide caft. ing hounds, how they fy forward, to recover the ground they have loft! Mind Lightning, how the dashes; and Mungo, how he works ! Old Frantic, coo, now pushes forward ; she knows, as well as we, the fox is finking.

Ha! yet be Aies, nor yields
To black despair. But one loose more, and all
His wiles are vain. Hark! thro' yon village now
The raccling clamour rings. The barns, the cots,
And leafless elms return the joyous sounds.
Thro' ev'ry homestall, and thro' ev'ry yard,
His midnight walks, panting, forlorn, he lies ;

Th' unerring hounds With peals of echoing vengeance close pursue.” Somery. Huntsman! at fault at last? How far did you bring the scent ? -Have the hounds made their own calti - Now make yours. You see that Meep-dog has been courfing the fox ;-get forward with your hounds, and make a wide calt.

• Hark!

P4

... Hark! that halloo is indeed a lucky one. If we can hold him on, we may yet recover him; for a fox, so much distressed, muft stop at last. We now Thall see if they will hunt, as well as run; for there is but little scent, and the impending cloud still makes that little less. How they enjoy the scent; see how busy they all are ; and how each ir. his turn prevails,

.: Humsman,! be quiet! Whilst the scent was good, you pressid on your hounds; - it was well done. Your hounds were afterwards at fault; - you made your cast with judgment, and lost no time. You pow must let them hunt;with such a cold scent as this, you can do no good.-They must do it all themselves ; – life them now, and not a hound will toop again.-Ha! a high road, at such a time as ihis, when she tendereft.nosed hound can hardly own the scent! - Another fault? That man at work, then, has headed back the fox. Huntrman! cast act your hounds now, you see they have over-run the fcent; have a little patience, and let them, for once, 'try back.

We now must give them time;- see where they bend towards yonder furze brake; I wilh he may have stopped there.- Mind that old hound, how he dalhes o'er the furze ; I think be winds him; – Now for a fresh entapis :-Hark; they halloo :- Aye, there he goes.

• It is near over with him ; had the hounds caught view he mult have died.- He will hardly reach the cover; — see how they gain upon him at every froke! It is an admirable race; yet the cover Saves him.

Now be quiet, and he cannot escape us; we have the wind of the hounds, and cannot be better placed ; -- how short he runs! he is now in the very strongest part of the cover. - What a crach! every hound is in, and every hound is running for him. That was a quick furn!-Again another;- he's put to his last shifts.- Now Mischief is at his heels, and deaih is not far off. - Ha! they all stop at once ; all filent, and yet no earth is open. Liften !-- now they are at him agaiņ.- Did you hear that hound catch view? they had over-run the scent, and the fax had laid down behind them. Now, Reynard, look to yourself. How quick they all give their tongues !-Little Dreadnought, how he works him! the terriers, too, they now are squeaking at him.-How close Vengeance pursues ! how terribly the presses! it is just up with him.- Gods! what a crah they make; the whole wood resounds. --That curn was very fort.- There —now ;- aye, now they have him. Who-hoop.”

All this is extatic, and by the aid of that enthusiasm our Author declares to be necessary to relish a fox chace, a man may be rapt into the third heaven at such an enchanting scenę! But having thus discharged our duty to the Public and to the Author in the capacity of Reviewers, we cannot think of dismir. sing a subject that never till now came so professedly before us, without introducing a word or two concerning humanity and tenderness to the brute creation : although we believe this is a subject, of which truę sportsmen never think, or wilh to be reminded."

There is a clear disțination between hunting to rid a country of mischievous animals; and bringing in and cherisiing ihole

mischievous

[ocr errors]

mischievous animals to the detriment of the pains-taking farmer, merely for the wanton sport and fictitious glory of destroying them afterward in a manner that aggravates the injury done to the defenceless and disregarded husbandman. Hunting on continents may be a necessary business, or a pleasure engrafted, on necessary business; in an island so generally cultivated as Great Britain, it is a very expensive fystem of tyranny and barbarity in all its circumstances, from the beginning to the end. Air and exercise, the best pleas for the chace, may be enjoyed in full extent, and feats of agility practised and exhibited, in a variety of rural exercises and sports which do not depend on the wanton abuse and torture of any living being susceptible of pain... We call upon the feelings of any man who does not avowedly dilo claim all tender feelings, to attend to the treatment of animals as represented in the work before us, and then to lay his hand on his heart, and declare how far they agree with those sentiments we dignify by the term humanity.

driv: 2.i sist . First, as to the hounds, " to whom, (says our Author) we are obliged for so much diversion;" we understand “they flog " them while they feed them; and if they have not always a * belly full one way, they seldom fail to have it the other *." This is but four sauce to their meat; and however we may wonder at such catholic discipline during meal time, we are filenced by the relator, who professes it is not his intention to oppose la general a practice, in which he says there may be some utility : he only recommends discretion in the use of the whip. We may guess to what extent the whipping of hounds is carried, by the frequent hints our Author gives of moderation in that reSped, and by what he allows. It is seldom (says he) neceffary to flog hounds to make them obedient, since obedience is the first leffon they are taught. Yet, if any are more riotous than the rest, they may receive a few cuts in the morning, before they leave the kennel.' Thus we find eat or not eat, work or play, whipping is always in reason, and as there is so much ftated work to perform, we need not inquire why two whippers in, beside the huntsman,' are required to one pack of fox hounds.

Nisso! o oit itsijad saavias Todja V S - To keep the hounds steady to their proper game, calls for much of this unmerciful treatment. Our Author, as usual, begins with recommending moderation, but we shall foon Understand him: It is 'Pays he common practice with huntf. men to flog their hounds molt unmercifully in the kennel: I'have al. ready told you I' like it not; but if many of your hounds are obstinately riotous, you may with less impropriety put a live hare into the kennel to them ; flogging them as often as they approach her; they

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »