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PLATE I

GONE AWAY.

ENGRAVED BY S. ALLEN, FROM A PAINTING BY H. ALKEN.

"Cigars are thrown down in a hurry,
And bridle-reins gather'd up tight."

To-0-0-0-t, toot, toot. Yoi, for'ard! Yoi, for'ard! Yoi, for'ard, away!-Here, here, here, here.-Yoi! get away to him my lads! Gently, gentlemen, gently for one minute, if you please; just let 'em stoop well to it, and then I hope for some time they'll keep right clear of you, one and all.

Scene the third portrays to the very life one of the most bustling and exciting moments of the chase." He breaks away, shrill horns proclaim his flight." Renard has made his point, and gallantly declares that he intends having a fair and open field, over which he will make his run for life. There are at this particular period three parties anxious, the majority indeed over-anxious, for one and the same thing-a good start. The first, of course, who requires and must have it, or the remaining parties have little occasion for one, is the hero of the day-the fox himself; it is, however, a matter of opinion what are to be considered as the requisites for a good start as far as regards this gentleman. Take his own ideas on the subject, and we should in all probability find the grand and favoured one to be his getting away just as long and as far as he possibly could before his pursuers; but this, though by no means tending to a fatal result on his own part, has too frequently that effect on the sport. On the other hand, horses, hounds, and men seem generally to think that they cannot be too quick in following him; no doubt adopting this view of the case more with reference to their own benefit or gratification, rather than from any very benevolent sentiments for the unfortunate the observed of all observers-gone ahead. All the great professors of the chase are unanimous in their statements on this question, and all decide against the selfish and purely interested motives which mark Renard's desiderata for an advantageous, if not glorious "gone away." Length of time is no longer considered among the beauties of the chase, for a good run of four or five hours is a thing at present never heard of, and the excellence of which, almost under any circumstances, would scarcely be admitted: by pressing Renard, then, from the moment he breaks through, we considerably lessen the chances of a long run; the odds are much more in favour of our having a brilliant one. Foxes, when allowed to take their own time,

are apt to hang, run rings, or even turn back for the cover they were found in; while it frequently happens that a faint-hearted cur, after being absolutely forced to fly "with a few couple of hounds close at his brush," has made a virtue of necessity, and, frightened out of all his doubling, dodging tricks, gone "willy nilly" straight over the open; thus earning, whether lost or killed, the name and reputation of a gallant fellow.

In another and nearly as important requisite for a good start, both fox and field, for a wonder, appear invariably to agree-an item, the want of which is sure to be severely felt in the majority of our sports, practised either on land or water; in racing, hunting, yatching, or coursing, all must be aware of the necessity of a clear course. How many good races have been spoilt, and how many good race-horses (with some jockeys) killed, from a neglect of proper attention to this point! and how seldom is it that we witness a boat-race, or a contest for a yacht cup, without one or more of those engaged being driven out of his course, if not altogether disabled, by the dead-weight resistance of a barge moored across the line, or a sinash with some spoilsport fast-sailing steamer! In these cases we see the loss of sport and loss of life may go together; and though the fox-hunter happily has little to dread with regard to the former (save and except the fox himself), the want of a clear course is equally fatal to him in the latter respect. Perhaps no cry in the hunting vocabulary conveys more disgust to the followers of the chase than "headed back!" A good fox thus driven from his point will frequently turn sulky, and rarely on the same day fly again in dashing style; the hounds are confused with running heel, the huntsman has to exercise his best abilities on but an ungrateful task, and the field, in their mortification, curse the luckless wight who has thrown this damper on their hopes and joys. Let us, however, by the gift of a little foresight, take on ourselves to say that our fox, after breaking so well, is not headed; and, having thus assured him of a good start, turn to the other dramatis persona, who are also eager for it.

"Order is Heaven's first law," and next to the fox, by all true rules of rotation, should come the hounds; though managers and huntsmen continually complain that this is an order which has anything but its due weight-particularly with some leading men, who do know it but do not observe it. The master of hounds has on no occasion more need for exercising his authority than when the pack are just getting away with their fox, and on no occasion do we see his remonstrances less regarded. His field may have been coaxed or manœuvred into giving the fox a fair start, but how seldom can they be induced to allow the hounds a similar advantage! "No, no! confound it! there are three couple well laid on, and no doubt the rest are coming," says a clipping man, as he places his horse by their sides; no, no, there's no doing without a good start:" and having given those of the fox, we may as well add the ideas of a first-flight man on it. His notions, then, of a good start are very like a jockey's, as he reaches the starting-post of the T.Y.C.: as the first off, he thinks, has the best of it, his great aim is to be the first; and, acting up to this, he never considers the hunting or the hounds, if for a mo

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ment they interfere with his position. These crack riders, of course, are principally found in the crack countries; where fair play for the hounds, from the jealousy of their followers, is nearly as uncommon as it is general in districts of less pretension. Our print certainly bears a vast deal of the Leicestershire or Pytchley style of doing business about it. We see but few of the hounds are yet clear of the cover, and, fortunately for them, but few of the field; a happy pair are, however, as forward as they can well desire, and, from the form in which they are already sailing away, would appear riding more against each other than after the pack, or that portion of it which at present precedes them. Still they are but a pair, and as the hounds have yet to thread an osier-bed, we will guarantee for them that which we have already done for the fox-a tolerably fair start.

Quot homines tot sententiæ, and numerous are the methods adopted for ensuring a good start with hounds. Some few will follow them through every cover they draw; which, to a certain extent, is a sure game, but, in our opinion, far from a good one, for hounds can run and turn much quicker in cover than any equestrian can; and even admitting that you do get well away, the chances are, should your fox have been loath to leave home, that your horse is more than half beat in rattling him up and down the heavy rides. Another system, which has many supporters in men who know the country, is to steal quietly to some favoured corner whence foxes generally break, and there patiently await his coming: nothing can be better than this, should renard's inclination for making a move be directed towards the usual quarter; but should he be prevented doing so, or fancy the other side or end, nothing worse. It is, then, next to impossible to catch hounds, if they go away at anything like the pace; and even should you accomplish it, what you have taken out of your horse in making up the lee-way must soon stop him, unless he be an article of very superior manufacture. At the most likely point, of course, we find the members of the Coffee-Room chatting and joking until the signal is given, and then racing and throwing the dirt over each other up to the first fence; where those with their hearts in the right place throw them over, and follow without a moment's hesitation; while the craners fight for weak places, or very frequently with their unfortunate horses. A fourth party, as we have already observed, take to the road, and by way of making a good start, gallop along at best pace, crowding, jostling, and endangering their necks, far more than if they had pumped up pluck enough to charge a few fences. We have now nothing left but to allow every man a good start in his own acceptation of the term, with our best wishes that

"A terrible burst it will be,

For right o'er a fine country he's gone."

and re-echoing the late Duke of Cleveland's favourite cry in chase"Forward, forward, forward!"

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