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stands. All, all is silent, save when the "shepherd's pipe" echoes over hill, or through dale and valley, or the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep disturb the stillness of the scene.
When the Houghton Meeting is over, the turfite feels "his occupation's gone. The season of 1869 has been altogether a brilliant one; but the doings have been thoroughly recorded, and it only remains for us to remark the wonderful progress many gentlemen-riders have made, some of whom are quite equal to professionals-Edwards and W. Bevill for example.
The Bibury club was formed in 1708, by the late General Grosvenor and other fashionable and sporting men of that day. Among the members were the Duke of Dorset (then Lord Sackville), Lord Jersey, Sir John Shelley, General Grosvenor, Mr. Pryse Pryse, M.P., Hon. George Germaine, Mr. Delmé, father of the present Frederick Delmé Radcliffe, than whom a better sportsman, or writer on sporting subjects, does not exist, Messrs. Douglas, Biggs, Hawkes, Colonel Mellish, &c.
George the Fourth, when Prince of Wales, often honoured the course with his presence; and his horses ran there with very fair success, the Prince winning, among other things, the great race of the meeting (the Welter Stake), with Rebel, ridden by Mr. Delmé. It was in riding a horse for the Prince, called Ploughator, a very hard puller, that the Duke of Dorset broke a blood-vessel, and was for a time in great danger through it, not being allowed to speak for twelve months after the accident occurred. Mr. Hawkes had the good fortune to appear with success in the Prince's colours, who presented him with a pair of gold spurs from his own boots, immediately after winning a race there.
The best of the Bibury jockeys were the Duke of Dorset, his brother the Hon. George Germaine, and Mr. Delmé; indeed, so superior were they, that in 1799 they were excluded from riding for the Welter, as their being up, it was thought, would spoil sport; and certainly that year there was a very large field for the race the conditions of which paid so high a compliment to the trio. What would be said, in our day, if Messrs. W, Bevill and Edwards, already referred to, were prohibited riding, in consequence of their successful prowess?
To return to Bibury. Colonel Mellish, "Newmarket's brightest star," often rode at Bibury, and in 1806 figured in rather a singular manner. For the Welter of that year four horses started; and the first heat was won easily by Mr. Douglas's Ducat. running the second, Mr. Douglas, with six to one on him, broke his stirrup-leather and fell, when Colonel Mellish, who chanced to be standing near where this occurred, caught the horse, jumped on his back, and ran in second. For the third heat there was some demur as to Ducat's starting; and Witchcraft, who won the second, was suffered to walk over. It, however, was proved some time afterwards that Witchcraft was eight years old, instead of six-the age stated when he ran at Bibury. This, of course, disqualified him; and Mr. Douglas's horse, having won the first heat and run second to the disqualified horse for the next, bringing in his full weight, was declared entitled to receive the stake. Had not the Colonel been a member of the club, his finishing the race would have been of no service.
From gentlemen-jockeys we turn to professional ones; and as com
parisons, as Mrs. Malaprop calls them, are "odorous," we will merely say that at the present time a finer body of riders, for seat, hand, judgment, and knowledge of pace, never existed. Horses, too, are now brought to the post in the finest condition imaginable; and those to whom they are entrusted fully merit a place here.
If training racehorses cannot be considered exactly as a science, it may be fairly regarded as a system which has attained greater perfection in this country than in any other part of the world. Racing is a genuine English pastime; if not indigenous, it is so identified with the manners and habits of the people that it has become a national amuseIt has been uniformly patronised by royalty, by the wealthy and influential classes, whose fostering support has been perseveringly seconded by the various grades of the community. So national is it, that the Houses of Parliament make holiday on the Derby-day; and the Speaker, if so inclined, may doff his wig, and the members may cast aside their legislative duties, and all may proceed to the Downs-not to discuss the land question, but to talk over the merits of the supposed winner of the contest for the blue riband of the turf. With regard to that useful and honourable body of men into whose hands the care of the racer is entrusted, we believe with few (if any) exceptions that they are so ardently attached to their vocation that they have uniformly manifested the most unsparing attention to the attainment of their object-the perfect condition of the racer. Persons practically unacquainted with the details of the training stable can form little idea of the strict attention, systematic regularity, and almost incessant labour which are requisite to bring a horse to the post fit, as the saying is, "to run for a man's life." Condition indicates tendon as full and as hard as possible, muscle equally so but utterly divested of fat, accompanied by the most vigorous health, and the most persevering if not the most impetuous spirit. Fat is opposed to the principle of speed, though a racehorse can never have too much muscle as long as it is entirely divested of this unctuous substance. Trainers, however, seldom run into the error of loading the horses entrusted to them with fat; on the contrary, they are apt occasionally to draw them too fine, and, when a horse has been overtrained, he comes to the starting-post necessarily weak and totally unfit to contend against others who are in perfect condition. Despite accidents of this kind which will take place in the best regulated stables, English trainers stand pre-eminent in their profession, doing equal justice to their equine inmates and to their employers.
Turn we to hunting, and, as the season has only just commenced, we will" hark back to ancient times.
To Pollux is generally attributed the honour of having first estab lished the chase as a science, and regularly trained dogs to the pursuit of game; and, later, his brother is said to have been the first who trained the horse as an auxiliary to the same pursuit. Orion is supposed to have been the first who formed hounds into packs-inferior of course, however, to our modern ideas of a pack; and Hippolitus was the inventor of toils and nets. It has been asserted-indeed generally understood-that as far as the human disposition is concerned, war and its "faint image" the chase are identified, and we feel no hesitation in subscribing to the doctrine that a passion for the
one seems to beget a thirst for the other, since, if we look back to history from the earliest period to the present time, we shall find that the most renowned warriors were remarkable for their attachment to the sports of the field. Cyrus the Great, the most celebrated captain of his age, was passionately fond of hunting, and spent all the time he could spare from the extension of his conquests to the pursuit of the beasts of the forest. Alexander, distinguished for leading an invincible army from Macedon to the banks of the Indus, was also attached to the chase. The ancient Greek warriors were thorough sportsmen. Zenophon wrote a treatise on the pursuit of the fox and the hare, which shows that the subject was thoroughly familiar to him. He stated it as his opinion that "it tended to make men hardy both in mind and body, and hence to form the very best of soldiers, the chase bearing a closer resemblance to war than any other description of amusement; that it habituated men to bear fatigue and the inclemencies of the weather, kindled their loftier feelings, awoke their courage, and nerved their limbs, which also from exercise became more pliant, agile, and muscular; that it increased the powers of all the senses, kept away careful or melancholy thoughts, and thus by promoting both mental and physical health produced longevity and retarded the subduing effects of old age." In earlier times princes and others hunted their own hounds, and thought it nothing derogatory to attend personally to their care and well-being, and, far from deeming it necessary for their dignity to employ a deputy as huntsman, it was their pride to exhibit their own personal skill in the direction of the chase. From Pliny we learn that it was from this very circumstance that monarchical states derived their origin. "In the early ages," he thus writes, man had no private possessions; they spent lives devoid of envy and fear, their only enemies being the beasts of prey, and consequently the destruction of these constituted their chief occupation; accordingly he who exhibited the most dexterity, courage, and force, naturally became the chief of the hunters of his country, and presided over the assemblies which they used to gather together on grand hunting occasions, making general havoc among the ferocious animals which infested their country, and also for pursuing such animals as they used for food. After a while, however, these bands of hunters began to contend for the retreats most abundant in game; they fought for these places, and the vanquished naturally became subject to the victors. Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, famed for her beauty and masculine mind, who fearlessly led her armies to the battle-field, appropriated a portion of her time to the chase. The Romans delighted in savage, brutal sports, as the butchery of wild beasts (not unfrequently mingled with gladiators) in the circus proves.
In our days Wellington was a thorough good sportsman, as were many of his most gallant followers.
As we have already on former occasions written upon the subject of fox-hounds, a few remarks upon the terrier may not be out of place.
This dog forms a very valuable adjunct to the sporting list of animals, and was until of late years found appended to most fox-hound packs; but times are changed, and as foxes are much less frequently dug for than formerly, and as it was only then that the terrier was of use, either to draw or to inform the diggers by his baying whereabouts
the fox lay, so, his occupation being gone, he is dispensed with by most masters of hounds of the modern school. There are also some active reasons, besides the passive one of his not being wanted, why he should be left at home; a sufficient one is that he is seldom steady from birds on the wing, and as such is often the cause of riot and confusion. The direct origin of the terrier, like that of many other wellmarked varieties of the dog, is involved in much obscurity. Some consider his antiquity questionable; while, on the other hand, it is not easy to mistake the dog so minutely described by Oppian for any other than the terrier. Buffon's synopsis classes him with the hound, nor is it at all improbable that he is thus derived, and that by frequent intermixtures and crossings he at length exhibits all the varieties we now meet with as to size, colour, and qualities. Two prominent varieties of the terrier offer themselves to sporting notice, which are the rough and the smooth. The rough variety seems to have been nurtured in Scotland, although probably both the one and the other owe their varieties more to locality and accidental crosses than to any true speciality between them. There is not a more faithful creature in the dog species than the terrier, always waiting upon his master, and never to be bought by a stranger. Rats are his great aversion; he will hunt them from the dawn of morning until night without fatigue; the domestic cat is not a greater terror to these thieves of the night. But the terrier has higher qualities. He is courageous in the extreme; let his master lay down his coat and his gun, and the terrier is a most faithful guard; no one can approach them. For vermin killing only bull-terriers are the best.
The present season has not been a very brilliant one for those who are devoted to grouse-shooting, as the birds have been scarce; still upon some moors there has been good sport.
Every "gunner" is aware that grouse shooting in the Highlands of Scotland is very different to partridge or pheasant shooting, and that thoroughly to enjoy the former a man must be in good walking condition. Without training, he will probably be knocked up before half the day is over; and when, foot-sore, he finds himself fagging up some steep hill, through thick heather, with a broiling-hot August sun over his head, he will, in the words of Shakespeare, "curse the fate that gave him to the Moor." The fatigue attendant upon grouse shooting is inconceivable to the uninitiated, and unless he goes through a regular course of walking exercise up-hill and down dale, for some time before the "opening day," he will be as unfit for his work as a Derby horse would be who had never had a gallop. Already have many accidents out shooting been recorded; if the following golden rule were attended to, many a valued life might be saved: "Never present your gun accidentally while shooting with another, or in joke, or indeed at all, at anything that do not intend to hit or kill."
The yachting and boating seasons of 1869 have been very brilliant ; and, although the match between the Cambria and the American clipper did not come off, there was a grand international contest on the Thames, which created the deepest interest, and which reflected as much credit upon the losers as upon the winners. The Harvard crew laboured under great disadvantage, and they bore their defeat most gal
lantly. Their aquatic laurels have not been tarnished by their prowess at Putney. In looking over an old magazine we found the following lines, which may not prove uninteresting to the reader, as they refer to another national affair, the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, which took place in 1841':
"Hurrah! for the sons of the Isis and Cam!
Behold them just started, off old Lambeth's shore
A sight for Archbishops to envy no doubt,
When the the signal was given, the Cantabs gave way,
For they ne'er were once headed while clearing the stream.
There was shooting from traps as they pass'd the Red House,
Why, instead of poor birds, lo! they shot all the bridges.
Putney Bridge is soon pass'd, and the Cantabs again,
For the fourth time, are found to be excellent winners;
At the Bachelor widow's sit down to their dinners.
Some wonder how 'tis that the Cantabs have won
So often in wagers concerning aquatics;
One who knows Cambridge well, on the late wager day,
"Its from the tuition of old MATTHY MATTICKS.'+"
As in many modern novels we find the authors very ignorant of the technical terms used by sportsmen, and who are thereby led to speak of dogs, not hounds, who call the fox's brush his tail, and who talk of a couple of greyhounds, instead of a brace, it may be of some little assistance to such writers-one of whom, by the way, tells us that Macbeth, a four-year-old horse, won a steeplechase with seventeen stone on his back, he having the year before been first for both Derby and Oaksif we give the proper terms that have been used and are still in common use among sportsmen, especially those of the old school. For animals that are hunted in company together we say, a head of deer, a bay of roes, a brace or leash of bucks, foxes, or hares, a couple of rabbits. For the abode of animals: A hart harbours, a buck lodges, a roe beds, a hare seats or forms, a rabbit sits and burrows, a fox kennels and earths, an otter watches, a badger earths. The terms of starting these animals from their lair are derived from the above, as-unharbour the hart, uprouse the buck, unkennel the fox, start the hare, bolt the rabbit, vent the otter, dig the badger. A hart belleth, a buck groans or touts, a roe bellows, a hare beats or taps, an otter whines, a fox barks, a badger shrieks. We follow the slot of a hart, the view of bucks
* Mrs. Batchelor, of the Star and Garter, Putney, was a widow. Matthew Matticks was a waterman.