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he jams the other man's knees against a stump or post-nothing of the kind; a turn of the wrist, a movement of the heel, places his horse at once in the exact position he desires, and he has glided through with a courteous smile, ere Messrs. Blunder and Fathead have done abusing each other like pickpockets, whilst they remain irrevocably fixed in the very thickest part of the throng. All the detail of riding he seems to have literally at his finger's ends, and yet, strange to say, "the fine horseman " usually fades away during a run. We can only account for this upon one principle: we once recommended an assistant to a keeper, himself of the very highest order, in a well-known poaching district, and anxious as to the success of our nomination, took the earliest opportunity of enquiring whether the man gave satisfaction; his character was excellent-sober, watchful, clean, goodtempered, civil, and up to all the ins-and-outs of trapping, rabbiting, and dog-breaking; he would have been the very thing, but for one drawback. "He's a good man all over," said the head-keeper," and worth a dozen for work; but he'll never do for us, sir, he ain't half blackguard enough!" So we conclude "the fine horseman "" "ain't half blackguard enough" for crossing a severe country. What with "arranging" his horse at his fences, making him go properly across his fields, and handling him delicately when in deep ground, the hounds manage to go three fields whilst our friend is going two, and ere long, the chase leaves him hopelessly in the rear, whilst Blunder and Fathead, who have no more idea of riding, properly so called, than a cow has of a cornopean, by dint of thrusting and screwing, and holding on by their nags' heads with iron fists and mischief-meaning energy, get well through the run in capital places, and witness the conclusion with no farther damage than broken hats, rasped faces, and a good deal of blood about their horses' mouths and curb-chains. One of the best heavy-weights we ever knew, used to remark, concerning delicate handling, "that it was all very well for the road, or the riding-school; but if you are to divide your reins, and put your middle finger here and your little finger there, your life will not be long enough for the operation. No," said he, "I like to get them all together in a heap as short as I can, and then I hold them as hard as ever I am able, and never let 'em go till I've done with 'em!" Now without quite coming into this gentleman's energetic views, we cannot help acknowledging that manége-riding may very easily be carried too far in the hunting field, and that a good hold of their heads, a heart in the right place, and a sharp pair of spurs, are sometimes worth all the "fingering" in the world. The great difficulty our "fine horseman has, is to gallop; not that he is a slow man by any means on the contrary, put him on a horse to ride a race, or try his speed in any way, and no one will acquit himself better, for he is not like the generality of sportsmen, who are mostly unable to gallop, and amongst whom a dozen will willingly jump a large place for one that can be found to get to it with tolerable dispatch; but our friend has his horses so bitted up "to his hand," and is so anxious to "feel" and "humour" them every yard they go, that he unconsciously puts off those golden moments, which in hunting, as in everything else, when once lost are never to be regained; so our "fine horseman" is forced to content himself with his fine horsemanship, and to take his

account of the run on trust, from some bruising, butchering rider, with hands like sledge-hammers, and a seat like a sack, but who saw it nevertheless from end to end, and was "with 'em every yard they went."

"The Impostor" is another character by no means uncommon in these days of sporting fashion and popularity; nor is he easily unmasked or identified, save by the actual ordeal of a quick thing over a strong country. "The impostor" is decidedly a man of genius, and not only "gets up," but dresses his part with a degree of histrionic accuracy that is beyond all praise. His habits, startling as may be the assertion, are to a certain degree literary; and he reads Bell's Life, The Sporting Magazine, and other such works, with great avidity and strong powers of retention. "The impostor" knows the history of every hunting country, its past and present masters, its honnds, horses, and system of kennel; can criticize the huntsman, and vote the whole thing slack and slow, or wild and ludicrous, with the most unblushing effrontery, and a power of deception that takes in even himself. He has seen most of the packs of hounds of the present day, and thinks them all capable of great improvement. Ask him what sport he has had, when he comes home, and dismounts, with a careful workmanlike air, from his untired horse? He shakes his head gravely, and informs you in the strictest confidence, "he never saw a thing so 'bitched' in his life." So it is with everything. Admire his horses, and he tells you they are "fairish nags, but not quite up to his mark." Talk about the "line we came —a favourite topic with young gentlemen-and the severity of the fences negotiated; "the impostor" smiles grimly, and implies that to him such obstacles are of small account-as indeed is the case, for he places a greater value on his neck than most of his acquaintances consider its real worth. But the time to see him at his best, is immediately after mounting at the covert-side, on a fine sunny morning, without much promise of scent; then indeed he is in his glory; he rides a capital horse-aye, and rides him well too; at least, he would if he did not funk; the animal is handsome, quiet, well-bred, and up to weight, for "the impostor," whatever be his specific gravity, always dresses so as to look as heavy as possible, with due regard to a workmanlike appearance. His tackle is perfect; if anything, a little too much like what is used in the hunt stables, but still of the most irreproachable make and the best quality-open flapped saddle, heavy double-bridle, spare shoe, and wide stirrupirons, all complete; his own boots, breeches, coat, and hat, are exactly what you would describe, if asked to give a verbal sketch of a thorough sportsman. But of all things, the most characteristic item about him is his whip-no gate latch could possibly resist that long, strong, Crowther-looking handle; no hound in his senses would come within reach of that heavy thong and thick green-silk lash, which looks capable of raising the echoes with a report like a pistol-shot. He gets on his horse like a workman; he sits on him like a workman; he does all the little airs and affectations of the craft like a workman, from the attitude of respectful attention with which he greets the first opening note of a hound, to the sonorous "holloa" with which he salutes the fox, turning at the same time his horse's head across the ride, in the most

approved fashion of sportsmanlike anxiety. Up to this point he is a workman all-over; but a horn twangs at the end of the woodlandthe field bustle off as hard as they can lay legs to the ground, and the reign of "the impostor" is over. He does not shake his good horse into a gallop, and at once assume that place in the front rank which would appear to be his right; he does not follow young Fearless through yonder thick bullfinch, and so place himself, like that rash young man, at once with the hounds; on the contrary, he trots steadily on, and with a placid smile, as one who thinks that there is no scent, and can be no hurry; and when he pulls up, on a rising ground, and sees the run he has lost lengthening itself out over the vale below, he quietly observes to any one who may be within hearing, that "he, forsooth, has hunted a great deal too long, ever to ride when hounds don't run." Therefore he jogs soberly on, and holloas to such tailhounds as he may pick up, in so orthodox a manner that respectful labourers agaze after "the hunt" believe him to be no less a person than the actual master of the whole establishment. Why "the impostor" should hunt, as he does, five or six days a week the season through, it is hard to say; perhaps because he is an "impostor," with which solution of the question we must rest satisfied for want of a better.

Of the same nature as "the impostor," though vastly different both in manners and exterior, is the somewhat dirty-looking individual whom we shall call, for want of a better title, "The Rough-andReady." This variety of sportsman is likewise most conspicuous in fine weather, though for all changes of climate he professes the utmost contempt. We ourselves confess to a weakness for the amenities and courtesies of life, and, in the course of our long experience, have generally found the honesty of those least to be trusted, who loudly proclaim themselves to be of the "rough sort." We cannot conceive why a man should pique himself on behaving like a ruffian or a boor. The "rough-and-ready" however has an admiration for the "simplex "-alas! that we cannot add the "munditiis," which betrays itself at once in his attire, and proclaims him a very Spartan, at least as far as the outward man is concerned. He affects the drabbest of breeches, and the brownest of boots; his coat never was new, and is sedulously constructed in as unbecoming a fashion as that garment will admit of. If he wears a hat, it is of a long-napped beaver, and forcibly reminds the spectator of the clipping scissors and singeinglamp; but he usually prefers a hunting cap, originally of grotesque shape, and now much worn, greased, and battered. He despises gloves, and his hands look as if they were equally unacquainted with soap-and-water. He rejoices in snaffle-bridles and such vagaries, and indulges in a worn yellow front to his cracked and blistered head-stall. His horse is quite in character with himself-an under-bred brute with a good-deal of white about him, and a coat some inches in length, which keeps him in a perpetual sweat. He comes out pretty often, and is not over-luxuriously treated at home; so that his demeanour in the field is quiet and inoffensive to the last degree, and he suffers himself to be rammed into thick places, and squeezed past trees and through gaps in a manner which a more pampered animal would be prone to resent. The "rough-and-ready" is great at a blind, creeping

place; but of an obstacle which is likely to give him an honest fall, he is a good-deal more shy than the veriest dandy out. He talks but sparingly, and makes use of coarse expressions with a savage grin. He rides somewhere considerably behind the front rank, and scruples not to take unfair advantages of boys and other helpless equestrians at hand-gates, gaps, and such accommodations. His tastes are naturally low, his education has been neglected, his assumption of hardness is very offensive, and his pluck exceedingly doubtful.

What a contrast to him is that tall, amiable-looking, gentlemanlike man, who is to be seen coming up with a face of radiant delight, some ten minutes after the hounds have killed their fox, congratulating himself and everybody else on the brilliancy of the sport, and as happy as if he had "gone best" from find to finish! His method of enjoying himself is certainly singular; but we must not quarrel with that which gives him so much pleasure, and does nobody any harm. He has probably taken to hunting late in life, and has never acquired the knack (for, after all, it is a mere knack) of getting expeditiously over a country; but he is a conscientious rider, and whatever distance may intervene between himself and the body of the pack, he rides the line fence-for-fence and yard-for-yard, as scrupulously as the veriest "customer" out. Should the impediments be of moderate construction, he finds them pretty well broken down before his arrival; but occasionally, when the country is stiffer than common, and the field have diverged into some friendly lane or bridle-road, he may be seen sailing away quite by himself, charging strong rails and grinning 66 oxers with an unflinching equanimity which is the more to be admired when we reflect that it is altogether unassisted by the extraneous excitement of hounds or company. He gives long prices for his horses, as indeed he should, and is fonder of hunting than the world would easily suppose. In all cases of falls and general distress, he is the first to lend a helping hand, and proceeds on his way rejoicing in the wake of the chase, with a noble disregard for short-cuts and all such facilities. He rides near the hounds when going from covert to covert, and would like to learn their names, but that he is diffident of his own claims to be considered a sportsman. He has generally one or two "beau-ideals" amongst his friends in the first flight, whose performances he is never tired of admiring, and is the first to cheer any feat of gallant or dexterous horsemanship which comes under his notice. He subscribes largely, and should he reside in the country, preserves foxes as the very apple of his eye. Everybody likes him, for he is a fine fellow, and a thorough gentleman.

But there is another character out, who bids fair to rival the conscientious rider in popularity, and who is treated with a degree of deference only to be acquired by a life-time spent in honour. This is the "Old Sportsman," a grey stout gentleman, whom nobody ventures o contradict on any matter connected with fox-hunting, whom the master addresses with respect, the field listen to with admiration, and ingenuous youth contemplates with reverence somewhat akin to fear. He is supposed to know more about hunting than any man out, though profane curiosity must not enquire in what this superhuman knowledge consists. When the hounds find, the old sportsman rises in his -tirrups and looks around him like an impersonation of the chase. If

he exclaims " You sir! Hold hard!" the culprit is ready to sink into the earth. When he moves, which he does pretty rapidiy too, to the nearest gate, he is closely followed by an admiring train, who pin their faith on him more implicitly than on the very hounds themselves; and truth to say, those who submit to his guidance are generally rewarded by seeing the sport at the very smallest expenditure both of nerve and horseflesh. Not that he is afraid of leaping-on the contrary, if he thinks there is really a scent, he will set to and ride still in a manner which shakes off the greater portion of his followers; but he knows the country and the runs of different foxes so well, that he finds such an exertion seldom necessary, and becomes year after year less and less disposed to take the trouble. Strange to say, even when least inclined to "go," he never gets completely beaten off, even by the quickest thing, and invariably times the gallop to a minute, and gives the clearest account of its merits when it is over. He rides quiet, sober horses, that look slow, but are, like himself, capable of great things on occasion. He is devoted to the sport, but gets rather crusty with the young ones for talking so little about hounds and so much about horses. In fact, he despises "riding " altogether, and in a few years will give it up, even when necessary to get to hounds. He will then doff the scarlet, come out on a cob, stick to hand-gates, and degenerate into "the safe pilot."

We have hitherto treated of those who obtain, or at all events assume a right to the respect of their fellow-sportsmen ; but there is one individual to be seen out with most hunts, for whom we confess we entertain feelings of the deepest commiseration. This unfortunate is

"the man that nobody knows," and, like Mr. Nobody himself, he bears the blame of all the mischief done by everybody else. He is generally supposed to come by train, though of course no one can tell from whence his ticket was taken, or at what station he got out. He rides a goodish-looking sort of horse, such as you may see a dozen of, in any dealer's stable, with no marked peculiarities either meritorious or otherwise, and in his own attire combines the sporting as much as possible with the theatrical. He is sure to wear a hunting-cap, a cream-coloured neckcloth, a wonderful waistcoat, badly cleaned leathers, and long black boots; also does he invariably arm himself with a cutting-whip. With all these means and appliances, he probably begins his day's sport, tolerably satisfied with his own "get up" and general character; but alas! ere ten minutes have elapsed, he is safe to commit some enormity which draws upon him the execrations of a hundred of his fellow-creatures. The huntsman d-s him at once, without the slightest compunction-"Come back, sir; you sir, in the boots!" exclaims some influential sportsman. "Do you want to head the fox? Who is he? does anybody know?" He hides his diminished head among the crowd; but even here he excites the wrath of a choleric gentleman in a gateway, who, after a personal altercation with him, abuses him to all his own acquaintances, as that "something fellow, whom nobody knows." Should he wish to distinguish himself, and earn at once a niche in the Temple of Fame, and with this praiseworthy object charge the brook boldly in front of all, he is pretty certain to get in over-head, and is laughed at as a fool by those who, if young Scrapegrace or any other popular member had com.

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