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Romanoff-also a Royal chaser of his species-is pursuing his sport hard by the Black Sea, of whom it may hereafter be related in history, that in the nineteenth century he was both the hunter and the hunted -of men.... The first chapter of the First Book of Chronicles, verse the tenth, merely says, "Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty on earth"-not a word about his taste for hunting. By the authority quoted above in the matter at issue, we are instructed that "notwithstanding the Jewish restrictions, hunting became nevertheless respected in Judea as in other countries, and its votaries honoured. It was David's early enterprises in the field which appear to have paved the way to his elevation as a ruler over the Jews, and they also greatly tended to gain him that exalted character he afterwards bore as the man after God's own heart."" Now, upon this point, Samuel, his biographer, is utterly silent-albeit he is eloquent touching David's slaughter of Goliath the giant, and his breach of the seventh commandment, with the wife of Uriah the Hittite....

So much for the assumed premises of Sacred history: now for the proposition. "Profane history bears even more ample testimony to the elevated character of hunting among the great pagan nations of antiquity, and of the renown gained by their heroes for their venatorial exploits." The data for this hypothesis consist of the bagging of the Pythean monster by Apollo; the conquest of the Minotaur by Theseus; the overthrow of the Dragon by St. George; and, above all, the paramount pre-eminence of Diana as supreme protectress of hunting. Her mise en scène for the chase was a car drawn by stags.... According to the antique saw," between two stools the finis comes to the ground;" therefore intra sacred and profane history our conclusion comes to the ground whereon it was founded. As we trust to have a few pleasant runs at the modern pace with you, reader courteous, our only regret is that we cannot put before you the premier pas of the Hunting Field in 1840-as it now lies before us "A Cover HACK," a short thick lump of a galloway, with a tail the length of a hare's scut.

Hunting such as it is-and ought to be-was practically and pleasantly treated by the late Charles Apperley, better known as Nimrod (not the son of "Cush")-in his "Hunting Tour," written for the early numbers of the Sporting Review. Though by no means a brilliant performer in the field, he was a sound experienced sportsman. Retrospectively, his notices of fox-hunting are full of interest; but for present purposes they are not available. His gossip will always be a popular sporting relish; and his sketches of the leading men of his day, a gallery of most goodly interest. His career, as well as my memory serves me, commenced with the veteran of Sundorn Castle, and finished with the Leicester Tour-here alluded to.... This was written in a gracious spirit-so was much of the sporting matter which he has left to posterity; but he should never have put his pen to a biography of the John Mytton of Halston, his open-hearted, openhanded friend and patron. This is not my view solely; for when I named to his devoted mother that an application for such a production had been made to me, she answered-" He knew and loved you well: you are too honourable to reveal the confidence of his folly and excess." In those two words are comprised the "head and front

of his offending." A gentleman more complete in the courtesy of life-more profuse in polished hospitality-more open to the offices of charity-more fondly linked to his family-never graced a "fine old home of England." He was too impulsive: to irreflective: too much the creature of occasion. But all that calumny has circulated of his natural and evil propensities; of his cruelty to one he adored-and well did she deserve and return his wild, if wilful devotion-is "false as hell." I look back upon the memories of a mother and the son of a posthumous birth-of the wife whose husband had never known a father, as a dream rather than a waking passage of existence. Having accidentally met him in town, on his way to France, shortly before the fatal stroke fell on him, it became manifest to me that he was no longer compos mentis. He was alone; and thus, without guide or friend, exposed to the most imminent risk. In this dilemma I hastened to Cheltenham; Mrs. Mytton-that is, his motherhaving taken a house at Pittsville. As delicately as it was possible I spoke of his position, at the same time expressing a sanguine hope for his speedy restoration. At the moment that I was leaving, to return to town, a note from her was put into my hand, from which I make a short extract:

"I can never forget the happy hours of our acquaintance, and shall ever rejoice to meet you in esteem and friendship, because I feel that your heart is kindly impressed towards my very dear ill-fated son... I must here stop my patent quill, only adding that the lovely lines you left me this morning are more lovely on reperusal. Say all kind things to dear Mytton, and beg him not to plant another thorn in my heart by apparent forgetfulness... Believe me always your obliged friend," &c., &c...

Some idea of the writer's most gentle nature may be formed from the inscription on the seal of this note......the wax is black....... "Numbers: chap. vi., ver. 24, 25, 26."

Shropshire our native country-was the school in which the young Squire of Halston and the writer of these chapters matriculated for the field. Their first lessons were taken with Mr. Lloyd of Aston's harriers, a quick clever pack, with a country that held a good scent, and taught you to ride if you would see a run. The next form up was the Shropshire foxhounds, then under the patronage of Mr. Cresset Pelham, who kept them in the true old English fashion at Shrewsbury Castle; and they did him credit-for beyond paying their expenses-mounting his men as well as money could do it, and arraying them in white coats, waistcoats, breeches, and gloves: he had no more to do with their establishment than the old brown cotton umbrella he invariably carried under his arm. He never accompanied his hounds even to cover; and if by any accident they crossed his canter on his good old hackney, he would start away from them like "Charles Fox," as the fast squirachy were won't to term "Reinake Foux." The fields, at the period I speak of, were, with these hounds, first-rate....with such sportsmen as the late Lord Forrester-then the Cecil Forrester of Rossall-it is needless to say the "slows" had no business to associate or compete. He was by no means a flash rider; but such horses, hands, and nerves I never before or since saw with hounds; nor do I anticipate that I ever shall. His eye, too,

was as swift across country as in these days as the flight of an electric message. This was his especial quality; for, while another was looking where to take a fence, Cecil Forrester was at the other side of it. Still "aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus:" and it so fell out that I once caught the Argus of Rossall sleeping. E. g.: The meet was Shawbury White Gates. "Jack," said my fellow-student, as we sped merrily towards the fixture-" keep a bright look-out for the break, or bid good-bye to the day's sport." "Aye, aye," I replied, "the devil take the hindmost: that's it, is'nt it?" "And no mistake," rejoined my companion, sticking the spurs into his hack, and leaving me in the lurch-to hatch my diablerie... See, here it is."


Time being called, the hounds were thrown into a willow copse, skirting the river. Attingham being a favourite resort of mine, every nook and corner adjoining it was as familiar in my memory "as household words." A whimper, then a general burst, proclaimed that our fox was a-foot. The field, as matter of course, was on the qui vive. "There he goes over the river; get away for the bridge" no sooner said than done; and with one fell swoop, Cecil Forrester, and the Duke of Rutland in front, across it went the furious charge. Landed on the opposite bank, the noble domain of Lord Berwick lay on the left. With the exception of a small semi-circle of railing, affording a distant view of the mansion, the park is enclosed by a lofty wall. Through this railing went reynard, and the pack at his heels. To follow them over an iron pallisade twenty feet high was of course out of the question: "Then rose from road to sky the wild farewell." "Where are the Park Gates ?" shouted the bewildered huntsmen, lords, squires, servants, everybody. "Up the road, straight afore ye, past the public-house-that's it," said a yokell, summing up of course with his favourite retreat. At these auspicious tidings they took the road, full speed; whereupon the chronicler of this run turned his back upon the ruck, rushed again for the river, but without crossing the bridge, swept round the park wall, on his right-hand-spoken of as the left when first seen-and entering the domain by a little iron-rail door used by the labourers and servants, he quietly locked it with the key that was always left on the inside; got to the hounds by riding for the earths behind the hall, and picked up Charley as they pulled him down in front of it. Circumstances that need not here be related ensured him a cordial reception and a luxurious lunch. As he sate with the pretty, pleasant hostess, discussing passages of "lang syne," over some matchless Moselle, up come the party we had met in the forenoon at Shawbury White Gates.

"You there, Jack?" shouted Mytton. "How did you do it?" "Paradise and the Peri, my boy," and first whispering the lady fair, who blushed and sighed "Oh, yes."

"So come in, and I'll introduce you to Lady Berwick." "Of course you stay and dine with me-that is with us-I had forgottenor remember," she said, with a playful menace; and in came Mytton like a mesmerised subject. "Truth is stranger than fiction."

These tracts, simple though they be, help us to facts that should not be lost to the social annals of the chase. Intrinsically they are not of much account, but they serve to identify an era in that first of our rural sports that England will never again parallel. By slow but

sure degrees the principle of fox-hunting was assimilating with that which filled the bay window of Brookes's. Like that exclusive association, the Melton Club was a popular noli metangere. Nimrod's politically designed catalogue of the members, was a Red Book in miniature; and his denunciation of railroads, which were to turn the face of every hunting country into the semblance of a gridiron, to the annihilation of the sport for which they were unique-an anticipation of common sense-that experience has proved nonsense.

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

"Two junior clubs," says a commentator on Nimrod-secundus"have also started up in this fox-hunting metropolis," and few can read without astonishment Mr. Apperley's enumeration of the persons of rank, property, and influence, who have, and now do, reside there some portion of the year-of every year: and well may he, though himself a zealous fox-hunter, remark that "no foreigner visiting this country can fail to be greatly surprised at the magnificence of four hunting establishments, whose sole object is the fox." I profess not to comprehend the meaning or application of those six words in italics, sic in the original. "We need hardly remark that the Quorndon country, so lately noticed by us "the Encyclopædists" as being the site of the splendid dog"? "kennels and stables built by Lord Suffield, is"?" in this vicinity." In like manner the author of a Handbook of London need hardly remark, when treating of Covent Garden Market, that the splendid Opera House, inaugurated, rebuilt, decorated, and endowed by Mr. Delafield, "is in this vicinity." In both these matters the less that is said of Suffield, Delafield, and Co. the better.

As districts for fox-hunting, the Melton Mowbray and Quorn countries were the best known in England-but not so now. No doubt, Sir Richard Sutton is a first-class sportsman, and one who hunts as a gentleman should-at his own cost. But as it is for the nonce, it has not always been with Melton, the "fox-hunting metropolis," as it is at these presents. It is not very many years ago that a noble Lord, being missed by his circle, was, in the forenoon of the seventh day of the week, seen standing at his chamber window arrayed as he came into the world.

If the quoters of Mr. Apperley want one of his real passages of sporting chivalry, I can help them to it, as well as his pot-hooks enable me to decipher the anecdote with which he favoured me. It relates to an establishment in "the north countrie," whose professional agents were of the right sort.

"Of the zeal of one of them, Ned Eutoby, the second whip, let the following anecdote show you to what an extraordinary-what an unheard-of-what an unjustifiable extent he carried it. I say justifiable,' because no man has a right to trifle with his own existence, so as to expose it to imminent peril, for such a purpose; or, indeed, short of an attempt to save the life of a fellow-creature. As Mr. Hodgson's hounds, to which he was second whip,' were running into their fox, in the Holderness country, one of those awful, though not uncommon events occurred, by which two of his hounds


Hudibras and Lavender, were precipitated down a precipice of five hundred and ten feet high. Hudibras was killed on the spot, but the life of Lavender was preserved until she produced the whelps with which she was heavy at the time; and how was her life preserved? Why, by the most extraordinary feat of the kind, that, perhaps was ever performed by man. Ned, unknown to his master, suffered himself to be let down (there was no other way of getting at the object of his extreme solicitude) by a single rope, not even fastened round his body, but down which he went by merely the clip of his hands; and up which he returned in the same manner, with Lavender in his arms! Now, whoever has a just idea of the weight of a fine foxhound bitch, and at the same time takes a view, in his own mind, of a man, encumbered by such a weight, clambering up a rope to the stupendous height of five hundred and ten feet solely by the use of his hands whoever, I say, does this, must agree with me in considering the feat in question to be one without parallel in the annals of difficult and daring exertions; amongst landsmen at least, who are not like the heroes of the blue-jacket, accustomed to go aloft, beyond the climbing of a tree. On my asking Ned if he was not alarmed for his situation, his answer was truly characteristic: "I can't say as I was, sir: my whole thoughts was upon the bitch"? On my asking him whether he were not greatly fatigued before he gained the top of the height, he replied that he was not, having occasionally rested himself on the projecting crags of the rock." This is a good story of the field, but it flavours-as did the chase in those days-too much of the "long drawn out." Apperley was an agreeable companion, but terribly devoted to circumlocution. He has deposited Jack, Mytton and your humble servant in the arms of Orpheus more than once at Halston.

When he wrote his Quarterly Review article, he little anticipated "The Road" is that one of his three fancies was on its last legs. now but a reminiscence of the past. He was a fair coachman; but the pace was not like the finish of the road when the Hirondelle was "On ne s'arrete pas dans sponsor. doing her work, like her feathered un si beau chemin." In 1770, there was but one stage-coach between London and Edinburgh; it started once a month, professing to make the journey in about sixteen days.

"As coming events cast their shadows before,"

so did the transit from three miles an hour to sixty herald the general progress in perspective. Among the early writers on the chase was Beckford (to whom I lately saw reference made by a sporting scribe as "the author of Vathek"); he dealt with his subject practically, but in a spirit of patient endurance that now-a-days would find few followers. He denounced "hallooing;" while Tom Smith-quondam "the celebrated master of the Craven Hounds"-adopted that plan as the canon of his custom. Even before his epoch, a master of hounds, in describing a day's sport, thus preluded this account of it: "First came the fox, then Cecil Forrester, and then my hounds." The great objection to treatises on fox-hunting is, that nobody cares a bean about them-I mean, of course, treatises inculcating one parti

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