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about during the London season, we would fain hope that fashion no longer forbids to those amenable to its laws the pleasure of proving to the world they love the companionship of their offspring. There may be, as doubtless there are, many pictures similar to that we have endeavoured to describe, daily to be seen during the season ; and doubtless the same fond mothers, met in the parks by day, at night may be found partaking of scenes of gaiety and revelry, when these loved objects of their tender care are hushed in their infantine slumbers. Yet be assured there is many
and many a bright face, many a noble heart, many a young and affectionate wife, who participates in the frivolities of fashion from the nature of her position far more than from the nature of her inclinations, and who can most fully appreciate the beauties and delights of the country beyond the precincts of Kensington Gardens and the parks. Aye! hundreds are there, who look forward with delight to the period which emancipates them from the supposed pleasure of a London season, to the real ones to be found on the flowery-heathered mountains of Scotland, the wooded parks of England, and the green hills of Ireland. But mark the sequel of this rough sketch : rough, we say, for all was rough in memory, compared to the outline of those cherub faces we had looked on but for a moment for the first time, and, as we then believed, for the last. And yet it was so willed that we should meet again--but where? in Grosvenor Square ?-no, surely not! Another London season had passed and was forgotten ; another bright summer had waned, and winter's rigours were over. The rich harvest of a second had been well nigh culled, when either duty or pleasure, but most probably the latter, found us in the extreme north-west of Scotland.
The hour was about the same, the season somewhat later, but the sun shone as brightly, and the scene was far, far more beautiful than Grosvenor Square, as, in company with a companion who, like ourselves, loves to combine his sporting visits to different parts of the kingdom with a glimpse of Nature's beauties wherover to be found, we were quietly walking our horses along the margin of a beautiful lake, the sides of which were overhung with luxuriant birch trees and mountain ash. All was so still, so bright, so beautiful, that as we looked on the rugged mountains, the green woods, and the clear waters near which we lingered, the busy world and the thronged city and the multitude might well be forgotten. The daily strife of man with man, the bitter sorrows of family contention, the agony of poverty, the sovereignty of wealth, the daily toil for bread, the follies of worldly pleasures, the darkness of crime, and the wearying feverish hours of the sick-bed, were lost to thought in the contemplation of Nature's loveliness, by which on all sides we were surrounded. Thus we rode on, in much enjoyment of the scene, when, as we turned a sharp corner of the road, a totally different prospect presented itself: the path, which had hitherto been secluded by the trees which covered the mountain slopes, now opened on a wide and extensive range of heathered hills, rising one above another in the far distance. We drew the rein in admiration of this splendid prospect. When about a hundred yards from the spot where we had halted, we beheld a party of equestrians riding slowly down the mountain-side towards the road : on their nearer approach, we discovered that the leader of the party was a lady; gracefully she sat, and carefully she guided a handsome and powerful High
land Galloway ; by her side, on a rough Shetland pony, a very picture of its race, rode a beautiful boy, some eight or ten years of age. The rear of the party was brought up by a steady and well-appointed groom, who held by a rein attached to its bit another, but smaller Shelty, on which, gaily laughing, sat a lovely girl, probably a year younger than the boy, who doubtless was her brother. In such a spot, so secluded and yet so interesting, the appearance of this riding party—so unusual a sight—was naturally a cause of much surprise. How much more so, however, was our astonishment when, on their reaching the road, we beheld the same beautiful woman, and the same lovely children, whose presence two years previously had delighted us in Grosvenor Square ! The fair lady had no London appointments ; no park habit ; no thorough-bred steed ; no flowing feather or cashmere shawl ;-a plain straw bonnet covered her small and well-formed head ; a skirt of tartan served as a riding dress ; but the same kindly smile, the same bright look graced her fair face, which, pale and beautiful in Grosvenor Square, was now tinged with the hue of health, gained doubtless from the fresh air of the mountains among which with her children she was now enjoying herself ; and the boy, with his Glengarry bonnet proudly placed on a head from which his long golden hair floated in the breeze-how well he sat his pony! How joyous was his look, as by his mother's side he rode—true specimen of the noble house of which in future years he may become the head. And the sweet girl-how she laughed and rode along, appealing to the faithful servant, as much as to say, “Let me ride free : I fear not !” Then turning towards a noble deer-hound, well nigh as large as her pony, who trotted by her side, as if proud of his darling charge, she caressed him with her sweet young voice, as he, with large and brilliant eyes, looked up and answered her caresses. We could have pressed her to our heart. But this was not all the picture. On the summit of a small hill, from which they had descended, were scattered here and there a party of sportsmen. Their dogs were in the act of seeking game ; and the constant sharp echoes of the guns' report, as it rattled through the mountains, told of an addition to the game-book, and added to the childish delight of those who felt they were partakers in the pleasures and sports the mother, of her husband: the children, of their father. Landseer! why were you not there, to put on canvas, in all the beauty of your colouring, that which our pen has but vainly endeavoured to convey ? But the scene shifted, and we turned to sleep, with the hope that a bright sunshine would welcome our rising.
" What various scenes ! and, oh! what scenes of woe
Are witnessed by that red and struggling beam!
ENGLISH SPORT S.-COURSING.
BY LORD WILLIAN LENNOX.
" Thy greyhounds are as swift as breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe."--Intro
duction to TAMING OF THE SHREW.
Among the dogs which attended our ancestors to the chase, none seem to have been so highly prized as the greyhounds. They were, indeed, the favourite species during the middle ages. When a nobleman travelled he never went without these dogs: the hawk he bore upon his hand, and the greyhounds, which ran before him, were certain testimonies of his rank; and, in ancient rolls, payments appear to have been often made in these valuable animals. They were chiefly useful in the pursuits of the hart, stag, and roebuck. Dr. Caius, the able assistant of Buffon, tells us the leporarius, or greyhound, takes its name quod præcipui gradus sit inter canes, the first in rank among dogs. And that it was formerly esteemed so, appears from the forest laws of King Canute, who enacted, that no one under the degree of a gentleman should presume to keep a greyhound. And still more strongly from an old Welsh saying, “ Weth ei Walch ei Earch a'i adwaener Borbeddig,” which, for the benefit of English country gentlemen, we translate : “You may know a gentleman by his hawk, his horse, and his greyhound.” Froissart tells an anecdote which does not reflect much credit upon the fidelity of this dog; for when Richard the Second was taken in Flint Castle, his favourite greyhound deserted him, and fawned on his rival, Bolingbroke. The greyhound, according to an ancient authority (Wynkyn de Werde, 1496) ought to answer the following description :
6 Headed like a snake,
And neckyd like a drake,
And chyned like a breme." The greyhound is mentioned at a very early period in our history, and no country gentleman in the time of the courtier-snubbing Dane, Canute, was ever seen abroad without his hawk on his hand and his greyhound by his side. Henry the Second, John, the three Edwards, Queen Elizabeth (in whose reign the laws of coursing were established by the Duke of Norfolk), and Charles the First, were all devoted to greyhounds. The Isle of Dogs, now converted to purposes of commerce, derived its name from being the place where the spaniels and greyhounds of Edward the Third were kept: and this locality was selected as being contiguous to Waltham and other Royal forests in Essex, where his Majesty proceeded to from his sporting and hunting quarters at Greenwich, in pursuit of woodcock shooting and red deer coursing.
The story of the faithful Gêlert, the favourite greyhound of
Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, is well known to most of my readers. What a graphic description the writer of the ballad (William Spencer) gives of the “hound smeared with gore," of the “ frantic father plunging his vengeful sword in Gelert's side," then his remorse after finding his “cherub boy" unhurt by the side of a great wolf “tremendous still in death”
Ah! what was then Llewellyn's pain!
For now the truth was clear :
To save Llewellyn's heir." In the days of Queen Elizabeth, when the virgin Queen was not herself disposed to take an active part in the pleasures of the chace, she usually stationed herself at the window to see the deer coursed with grey hounds. At Cowdray, Sussex, the present seat of Lord Egmont, formerly the property of Lord Montecute, the Queen witnessed from a turret “sixteen bucks, all having fayre lawe, pulled down with greyhounds."
In ancient times the coursing of deer was divided into two partsthe paddock, and forest. For the former a brace of greyhounds only were used, with a mongrel, whose business it was to drive the deer, before the greyhounds were slipped. The paddock was usually a piece of ground paled in within a park, about a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile in breadth. At the farther end the spectators took up their station, while at the starting-post were houses for the dogs, and pens for the deer. The course was duly marked, and posts were placed at certain distances--the first, called the “ Law Post," was one hundred and sixty yards_from home-at the quarter, and half mile came the “Pinching Post,” and then the “Ditch," made to receive the deer, and save them from their pursuers. The articles of coursing were as follow :—“The dogs who are to run the match will be led into the dog-house, and be delivered to the keepers, who are to see them fairly slipt. The owners will draw lots for places. The dog-house door will then be shut, and the deer will be turned out; after about twenty yards' law, the mongrel will be let loose to hunt the deer forward, who when he passes the law-post, the greyhounds will be slipped. If the deer swerves before he gets to the pinching-post, so that his head is judged to be nearer the doghouse than the ditch, the match will be off, and will be run again three days after. But if there is no such swerve, and the deer runs straight beyond the pinching-post, then the dog which is nearest the deer (should he swerve) gains the contest ; if no swerve happens, then the dog which first leaps the ditch shall be the victor. In coursing deer in the forest two ways were adopted : the one from cover to cover, and the other upon the open green sward. In the first, some hounds were used to make the deer break cover, while the greyhounds were slipped when he got out on the open. A relay of greyhounds were often used when the deer broke cover at too great a distance for one brace; while, on the other hand, if the “poor sequestered stag" was not of a proper age or size, he was allowed to escape scot free, or rather was permitted to live, so that he might be hanted upon another day. In coursing upon the green sward, the keeper selected a deer, which he lodged for that purpose; and the distance given the greyhounds depended mainly upon the merits and demerits of the respective animals.
The English greyhound of the present day differs greatly from the wolf-dog of former times. He no longer possesses the ferocity of that race, but has become gentle and passive. Still he comes up to that description given by the great Magician of the North :
“Remember'st thou my greyhounds true ?
O'er holt or hill there never flew,
More fleet of foot or sure of fang." Some years ago the Earl of Orford, who looked upon the present breed of greyhounds as deficient in game and perseverance, crossed one of his favourite bitches with a bull-dog. The female whelps were then put to some of his fleetest greyhounds; the result was, that after a certain number of generations all trace of the bull-dog was lost except his courage. This cross is now universally adopted; and although the noble lord was not a little bull-ied at the time, for what was then considered a most irregular cross, he lived to see his plan adopted by all his coursing brethren. An ancestor of the noble lord's established the Swaffham Coursing Society in the year 1776, confining the numbers of members to the numbers of letters in the alphabet; and when any member died, or retired, his place was filled up by ballot. On the decease of the worthy founder, the members of the society unanimously agreed to purchase a silver cup, to be run for annually; and it was then intended to pass on from one to another, like the whip at Newmarket. This, however, was given up; and it was agreed that an annual cup should be purchased by the society to be run for in November.
For many years the pedigrees of the most celebrated greyhounds have been recorded with as much care as the best bred horses upon the turf. This originated with an ancestor of the present Lord Oxford's (the late Colonel Thornton), and Major Topham. Czarina Jupiter, Claret, Snowball, Miller, Schoolboy, and Major, were the property of the two last-mentioned sportsmen, and are entitled to some little notice. Cyarina, bred by Lord Orford, and purchased after his lordship’s decease by Colonel Thornton, with a view of improving the breed at Thornville Royal, completely answered the purpose. She was the dam of Claret and young Czarina, both of whom challenged all Yorkshire, and won their matches. This bitch showed no signs of having any progeny until she had completed her thirteenth year, when she produced eight whelps by Jupiter, all of whom lived, and turned out most worthy scions of a dam who had won forty-seven matches, without ever having been beaten. Snowball and Major, two own brothers, by Claret out of a favourite bitch of Major Topham's, proved themselves superior dogs; Snowball won four cups (couples), and upwards of thirty matches, at Malton and upon the Yorkshire Wolds. He also beat the Scotch champion, Schoolboy, bred by Sir Charles Bunbury, and won a great number of matches at Newmarket. The Miller, who at nine months old was so heavy, clumsy, and unpromising, that no thoughts were entertained of ever bringing him into the field, proved the truth of the old adage, “that a bad beginning often makes a good ending," for he won