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the South Devon Chudleigh country subsequent to Mr. King; and all who knew him, knew him to be a first-rate sportsman, and as are all the race of Carew; thorough kind-hearted gentlemen, who live for the best portion of the year on the lands of their forefathers, forgetting self in their many charities to others, and always supporting the sports of the field to their very utmost. I cannot positively say for how many years Sir Walter continued to hunt the country; but during the period he kept the hounds, he gave considerable sport, and was ever gladly welcomed in the field. On his retiring from the mastership of the fox-hounds, after thirteen seasons, they were ceded to his cousin, Thomas Carew, of Collipier, who now possesses as beautiful a pack of hounds as the West of England can produce. Sir Walter had generally about forty-five couple of hounds in his kennel-the better portion, I believe, from Mr. Newton Fellowes's pack-and hunted occasionally four times a week. These hounds had previously been in Mr. Fellowes's possession thirty-five years, and were bred with the greatest care from Lord Fitzwilliam's pack, and others equally good, from which the present Tiverton pack, which have been in the possession of the inhabitants of Devon fifty-eight years, were formed, and their blood is unexceptionable. I have too frequently had occasion to speak of the Master of the Tiverton in the pages of Maga, to need aught of repetition here-save that I believe there is not a man, high or low, rich or poor, who joins his hunt, who does not thoroughly esteem him, whether in the hunting field or the halls of his ancestors; in proof of which assertion, I may add, that although I trust very many long years are before him ere his hair is silvered, for he is a young master of hounds, he has recently been presented with a handsome picture by the members of his hunt, in thorough admiration of his single-hearted character.
Mr. Lane succeeded Sir Walter Carew in South Devon, and report says that few better sportsmen or riders to hounds ever entered a hunting field. Unfortunate deprivation of property-by no means, I believe, from any extravagance of his own-caused this gentleman's period of hunting the country to be short; and thence, for the first time, the hounds were denominated the "South Devon Hounds," because nominally a subscription pack, and were hunted by Captain Homerton, a relative by marriage with the Earl of Devon. This gentleman established his kennels at Kenford, in the immediate vicinity of Powderham Castle, and hunted the country twice, and at periods thrice a week; his subscription, however, became so small, and the gentlemen of the county so lukewarm in their protection of foxes, and so over-severe in their pro tection of pheasants and farmers, that his reign lasted not many years, and for a season the country was a blank as regards fox-hunting. Hap. pily, however, the noble sport is, in all forms, thoroughly engendered in the hearts of Englishmen of all classes; and so, fortunately for the good sporting people of Devonia, a lover of sport, who had hitherto hunted not seldom a first-rate pack of harriers over the moors, with no field save himself and a whip, dreamt one night that his gallant little pack were chasing a fox over Haldon, and at the very moment that he had run into his fox in the open, his servant, who chanced to enter with his shaving water, was astonished to find his master half sleeping, half waking, waving his tasselled night-cap in the air, exclaimed "Who-hoop, Who-hoop-by St. Hubert I have brushed the varmint." And from that
day, the spirit moved him to convert his harriers into fox-hounds; and happily for all the good sportsmen and true of the county, my humble self among the number, he did so; and hence the South Devon hounds have Mr. Whidborne for their master. Now Mr. Whidborne possesses at this moment as beautiful a bitch pack, as well-bred, as well-selected, and as well-sized, as the eye of a sportsman may desire to look on. His establishment is by no means large. What then? It is good, and in all respects suited to the country he hunts. His residence is at Teignmouth, a tolerable good position for the field; the kennel being about two miles distant. These cannot be named, when the mind reverts to those of Badminton or Berkeley, or other similar noble establishments; but though limited and rough, they are healthy and dry, and in all respects suitable to the wants of a pack, consisting of twenty-four couple of beautiful small hounds, that hunt rarely more than twice a week, and are always turned out in first-rate condition, as I shall hereafter convince my readers. Mr. Whidborne may be said nominally to hunt his own hounds; but actually he does not do so, inasmuch as he keeps a huntsman. I desire no discourtesy towards him when I say that neither he nor his huntsman have as yet that great experience so absolutely necessary in the positions they hold; yet throughout my intercourse with hounds and their owners, never did it fall to my lot to meet with master or man who apparently more thoroughly delight in the sport they have selected, and with heart, inclination, and will, all the rest will follow; in the meantime Churchward is a good horseman, with admirable nerve; and he therefore stops at nothing to get to his hounds; and saying thus much, I say a great deal; for of all the counties to get over I ever saw, I should say Devon was the most trying for man, horse, and hounds; and though, if truth be written, road riding or lane riding is absolutely necessary for those who require to get to hounds. I imagine there are few men who will gainsay the truth of my assertion, when I declare that a dozen grass fields, with a dozen stiff gates at their end, or a dozen fallows, with as many stone walls, are as chaff before the winds, in comparison to the nerve, judgment, and hands, required to gallop down a Devonshire lane, with rolling stones flying around you like a shower of balls from an enemy's fire. In fact, when first I came into Devonshire, being totally unaccustomed to such galloping ground, I own to have been perfectly stagnated to find myself passed by a dozen men on horses, to look at them, with apparently scarce a leg to stand on, much less to gallop with, who flew by me, scattering the loose stones on all sides, as if they were the riding on the softest turf. But practice and patience do wonders; and so down the lanes and up the lanes we go, on roads that would frighten a Melton man out of his wits; and, strange to say, an accident is rare. When speaking of inland or crack countries, the South Devon can bear no comparison, when foxes are to be accounted for. And having heard some young gentlemen speaking in strong terms on this subject, I ventured to remark that it was far easier to kill ten foxes in a grass country with large grass fields and a flat surface, than in South Devon, where every possible and impossible impediment is offered alike to man, horse, and hound; not to hunting, observe, but chasing a fox. He did not clearly see my demonstration. Sportsmen, however, will when I tell them we have five-acre fields and ten-acre fields, and even three-acre fields-all intersected by deep lanes with high impracticable
banks, making a cast almost impossible; with sometimes the joy of a moorland, with here and there a bog, which to get into, is to remain there for the remainder of a run: and when flying over the moor, as you imagine, with nothing to prevent your onward course-all of a sudden. behold a deep hitherto hidden ravine, which takes you the time of a run to get down and then to get up, if so be the country is unknown to you. For all that, the sport with hounds is not seldom most exhilarating, and all true sportsmen will agree with me, that inhabitants of the towns on the south coast, as of the whole of that portion of South Devon hunted by Mr. Whidborne, are much indebted to that gentleman for keeping hounds at all-more particularly so, as his subscription is very limited, and his support, as regards the preservation of foxes, anything but what it ought to be. Mr. Whidborne's pack are by no means strong, numbering only four-and-twenty couple of working hounds; but enough för the county and the number of days he hunts; they are small, well-sized, beautiful hounds, in admirable condition, doing full justice to his feeder. His stable is also limited, consisting of about eight horses for himself and huntsman ; but their stamp is good, and they are in all respects fitted for the country they hunt over. And I trust all who benefit by the pack may each long continue to enjoy the sport he is ever anxious to afford to others. Perhaps the best part of the South Devon country may be said to be that portion to the west of Teignmouth: foxes are not seldom found in the coverts adjacent to Newton Abbott, as also in those of Stover, once the home of the Templars, that make head direct for the hills of Dartmoor; and many a good wild run is thus afforded, which would repay a thorough sportsman; and none others need visit the hunt for a journey from the metropolis. Mr. Whidborne's country is joined on the west by the hounds of Sir Henry Seale and Mr. Trelawny; both first-rate masters of hounds.
The fields are seldom large, yet are they composed of good men and true, that would go to hounds in any part of England. It may be uncourteous, yet I certainly do not desire to say aught derogatory of others, if I mention some of the most forward riders and true sortsmen that those who under any circumstances are generally in their proper places when out, are-Messrs. Harris, Templar, Wills, IIale, Green, Fireira, the master and his huntsman, as also Sir J. Duntys and Major Hall.
I shall now follow up my remarks on the South Devon Hunt, by adding that the mere fact of killing foxes is no proof for or against the excellence of the pack, for which I have given ample reasons. But in order to prove their capabilities for chasing, I will give a brief account of a run at which I was present not a month past; and I shall then in more detail relate their doings during a recent most agreeable meet at the sporting little town of Dulverton, the Melton of the west, when the South Devon Hounds (Mr. Whidborne's), the Tiverton Hounts (Mr. Carew's), and the North Devon (Mr. Russell's), meet to hunt on alternate days in the Exmoor county.
On Thursday the 2nd of February, the South Devon hounds met at Green, when several beautiful coverts were drawn blank, and thence we proceeded to Ogwell. No sooner were the gallant pack thrown into covert, than as gallant a fox broke as ever lived for an hour and twenty minutes before hounds. For the first half-hour, owing to a
very indifferent scent over the fallow, innumerable fences, and a field all eager for the prey, the pace was only a fair hunting pace; but on approaching the grass lands, both scent and pace improved, while the field diminished; and after an hour and twenty minutes, with scarcely anything which could be fairly termed a check, we raced him from scent to view, and killed in the open, near Buckleigh, twelve miles as the crow flies, with only half-a-dozen at the finish.
The above run is merely one among many that have occurred this season, and I will now give some brief details of the Dulverton Meeting, to which I have already alluded-a meeting held for the first time this season, but which it is to be hoped will henceforth be annual.
BY THE DRUID.
"A hound and a hawk no longer
Shall be symptoms of disaffection;
A cock-fight shall cease to be breach of the peace,
SONG OF THE CAVALIERS.
"I am a friend, Sir, to public amusements; for they keep people from vice."DR. JOHNSON TO SIR ADAM FERGUSON.
"The first place where Ready-money Jack attracted my attention was in the church-yard on Sunday, where he sat on a tombstone after the service, with his hat a little on one side, holding forth to a small circle of auditors, and, as I presumed, expounding the law and the prophets; until, on drawing a little nearer, I found he was only expatiating on the merits of a brown horse."-BRACEBRIDGE HALL.
Although Stockbridge is not on my circuit list, which, as a regular thing, only includes Northampton, Epsom, Ascot, York, Doncaster, and Newmarket, the South Western special train was too much for my philosophy this year. Accordingly I found myself rapidly bowled over a series of chalk embankments, through whole miles of yokels, many of whom had never seen a railway before, and set down at a quarter to twelve at the pretty little town of Andover. So pretty is it, that, in fact, I do not know which is most honoured-the town or the horse. Omnibuses there were in plenty; but the fare was high, and the day so balmy, that I scorned their aid, and boldly set off by the field path towards the dominions of John o' Danebury. My observations on the road, which was a good six, if not seven miles, were somewhat limited. I longed certainly to have my good friend Indigo Inman (who has sunk some 20lbs. since I wrote his life, from his agricultural and building exertions on Daubersden) with me, to draw a superb team of chesnut cart-horses, which I met yoked to a "Lord Charles Wellesley" waggon, and a magnificent brown brood mare, with a little chesnut thorough-bred at her side. I fear, however, that he would have turned away with disgust from the pigs. My idea of Hampshire pigs is taken from what I have seen of the little black dumplings, which lie annually for a week at Baker-street, with rollers under their noses, and "The Right Honourable The
Speaker's" name labelled above them. Alas! I was wofully undeceived; as all the farm-yards I looked into contained the most greyhoundish, long-snouted specimens extant, and I was assured that their Christmas training hadn't commenced yet.
The races seemed to be popular to a degree; and certainly Andover must have turned out every vehicle and quadruped it had, as I have seldom seen such extraordinary makeshifts in both departments. A clump of firs on a distant hill, up the side of which black dots were continuously progressing, marked the land of promise: but it is a long weary way, and a great deal of it against the collar. However, the first peep of the race-ground atoned for all; and "used up" as my racing sensations are by this time, I positively got up quite a glow at the quiet beauties of the valley, in which Grey Momus, Crucifix, Pyrrhus the First, Cossack, Mendicant, Pitsford, Andover, Hermit, Weatherbit, The Hero, Peep o' Day Boy, Wapiti, Old England, Ugly Buck, and scores of others, who made many a man's pulse quiver in their day, were wont to sweep along amid the sheeted regiment at cockcrow. The severity which makes it so admirable as a training ground, rather spoils it for racing purposes; but being an oval, it is welladapted for seeing. The turf is wonderfully soft, and in those parts where it is not mown, deep enough to hide a fox. On the extreme right are seen the slated roofs of the Danebury training-stables, barely half a a mile from the grand stand, which is situated rather on the side of a hill. This building, and the telegraph, which has simply " Weighed" at the top, and a bell by the side, are so rustic and primitive, when taken in conjunction with the booths behind, that it seemed as if one had merely come to some Midsummer country fête. However, the presence of "the Admiral" and his crew, and the noisy Cockers of the ring, quaintly recalled the fact that there was sterner work than mere merry-making to be done. Bonnie Morn quietly pacing through the long grass in his sheets was the first thorough-bred whose path I crossed, and half a glance told me how fit he was. The meeting arrangements were all very nice, if they would only make jockeys declare their colours more correctly, and were conducted by Young John, in white cords and a mahogany shooting-coat, with tops to match. He seems to discard the pink, which old John always mounted in his official days; but "the Newmarket cherubim," a still weightier specimen from the neighbourhood, and Mr. Hibburd were true to the colour. Old John seemed quite as chirpy among his old neighbours and kinsfolk as he was at the Hampton Court sale (where he and Mr. Tattersall kept up a ceaseless chaff), and he and young John seemed to be holding a long confab over the points of Bonnie Morn, as Alfred Day walked past them to the start.
A more plethoric day's sport has seldom, if ever, been promised on paper; but the saddling bell acted as a highly successful eliminator, and but for the first-class animals engaged, I should have gone rather discontented away. In the Four-Year-Old Triennial, Cobnut made as steady running as I ever saw, from end to end. William Day must have been the victim of his remarkable mania for riding when he started poor Pharos, whom he purchased for 27gs. at Tattersall's on the Monday week, being a reduction of 100gs. or so on his price there some two months before. The knowledge that he was once looked on as the riding hope of the family seems still to haunt him; but the