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Wednesday, 15th.-Pleasant warm weather: rode to Rough tor and Brownwilly, the highest hills of Cornwall, and the pride thereof: and well may she be proud of her high hills; they are truly magnificent. The ride over the moors and the view from the high hills rejoiced the cockles of our hearts. A truly elegant pack of dwarf foxhounds, in the highest condition, were chiaking near us.
Thursday, 16th.-Mr. Archer's hounds; Coldrennick: the sun looked upon us, not quite hot enough to turn us black, just hot enough to bronze our ruddy faces. Did not unkennel.-If I was a parliamentman I would bring in a Bill for the preservation of foxes, as tending to the preservation of health. I look upon the vulpecide as a very nasty lump of mortality.
Monday, 20th.-Met Mr. Bulteel's at Sequers-bridge. Sol drove his fiery steeds over the dusty roads: the butterflies, midst their loveplay, adored the red hot charioteer; our scarlet coats looked like dull brick houses. All this blazery did not suit the chasse au renard, so we took to the water, and after Waterloo with the voice of cannons had kept the world awake for some time, the battle ended with whowhoop to an otter; a bitch otter killed, weight 15fb.-Waterloo is our best otter-hound.
Thursday, 23rd.-Weather dry, but cloudy. An otter having for some time made much havoc among Major Symons' carp in a pond at Chaddlewood, we went forth with Mr. Bulteel's hounds in search of this destroyer of fishes, but he was not there or thereabout. Hunted a strong trail in the silver brook, and marked him in a drain in Batsfors:
did not bolt him.
Monday, 27th.-Mr. Bulteel's hounds met at Gara-bridge on the river Avon; the weather hot enough to fry fishes: marked the otter in a drain of a meadow above Mr. King's mill-a well-known haunt: after some digging, he bolted: alas! the terrier Black Prince, by no manner of means a prince of peace, but much more like unto his warlike namesake of Cressy, so gallied the wild beast, that when the hounds poured in upon him like a torrent, he was soon in the land of nothingness, having afforded a nothingness of sport to the too-cager amateurs-a dog, weight 21fb.
Thursday, 30th.-Met at Longbridge, on the river Plym; the weather very hot: lots of walking, lots of talking, some beer-drinking, but no otter.
In general Mr. Bulteel's hounds had good sport the last season, and I have seen three or four particularly brilliant runs with them, though I am sorry to say the foxes have not been as many as I could wish; and I very much fear that men do not consider fox-hunting, as it really is, a divine pastime.
Two characters do dwell in the West, both Esquires of high degree one is named Vis, the other Animus. Vis is a bloated giantan unhealthy Goliah: Animus is as tight a chap as you will ever see, ruddy as was David in the beauty of youth. Vis is dives opum pecudesque dives, has much money in the stocks, and a stock of fat cattle in his pastures. Vis is a battue man; he hates the fox, for he fancies that foxes destroy all his game, most ludicrously forgetting
foumarts, stoats, weasels, kites, buzzards, hawks, owls, man, and many other species of destructive vermin. Animus, rich in health, but poor in purse, is a fox-hunter, who has his heart and soul in the noble diversion, delighteth in the chase, is as active as a roebuck, and as strong as a church tower. Why doth that cloud of sorrow spread a mist over his sunny countenance, and darken the light thereof? He grieveth that many a whilom true believer in the noble science, many a companion of the chase, many a gallant horseman, either victimised by old age, soured by worn-out energies, or too much addicted to have soup and chicken broth, is gone over to the party of Vis the Philistine! I trust the Giant will soon see a light, and become a convert to health and fox-hunting, and will join with Animus in the preservation of that noble animal the fox! A BRUNECHEVAL.
April 30th, 1840.
THE OTTER SURPRISED.
Engraved by J. W. Cook from a Painting by G. ARMFIELD.
OUR second plate is a spirited illustration of the sporting propensities of our canine friend, who has chopped an otter, till then, we presume, on gastronomic thoughts intent. Whether the spaniel intends affording serious aid, or, in the strict old English feeling, desirous only of seeing fair play, we will not venture on: we dare say, however, if he can get near enough, he will have a grab at him.
The following anecdote has been communicated by a friend, of a tame otter, supposed to have met a similar fate at Delphi Lodge, a fishing establishment of the Marquis of Sligo, twenty miles from Westport, Ireland.
A young otter, when not bigger than a kitten, was caught by a peasant, carried to the Lodge, and committed to the care of His Lordship's housekeeper, who placed it with the puppies of a fox-hound: with these it lived and ate in a very sociable manner, and grew up very much attached to the dogs: its food was partly the same, being meal boiled in water and mixed with milk: fish were sometimes procured, and cut into small pieces and given to the otter; and, as it grew, small fish were put into a wooden bowl of water, the animal evincing great delight when it had thus an opportunity of catching its own dinner.
To train it up to fish, the housekeeper was accustomed to take it to a pond, and throw into it a small fish attached to a string, and encourage the otter to go in after it and bring it to her. By this means it became so tractable and obedient to the housekeeper's commands, that whenever she wanted a fish, it was only necessary to take Dido (the name she gave to the otter) to the water, and it would soon bring one and lay at her feet, resting its paw upon the fish and looking up in the housekeeper's face, but would not offer to eat it till it was told to do so. This otter afforded a great source of amusement to the visitors at Delphi Lodge, in being taken out at their desire to let them see it fish. On these occasions it was always accompanied by the housekeeper, to whom it shewed great attachment and obedience, from
VOL. XXI.-SECOND SERIES.-No. 122.
having been nursed and fed by her; but to no other person was it under the same control. In its young state it was kept confined to the house till it became familiar and attached to its nurse and its home. When it was left quite at liberty, Dido would often be missed for several hours together; and on these occasions the housekeeper used to go to the waters and call the otter by its name, when it was sure to come out, and would follow her home like a dog. In its habits it was playful and mischievous, and sometimes malicious: many severe bites did the housekeeper get from it in bringing it up, till it was broken of the habit by repeated punishments; and the attachment the animal afterwards evinced towards her was remarkable; but from strangers it would suffer but little familiarity. Dido at length left its home, to return no more: it no longer answered to the well-known voice of its benefactress, and was supposed to have fallen a victim to some otter hunters. Its home was let by its noble proprietor to Mr. Stepney St. George, who now has Delphi Lodge, but without its interesting occupant.
"Round goes the world; then why should we stand still ?"
TIME has waxed swift since last I greeted thee, good Editor: other climes have blanched my brow, other scenes have passed my eye; you, I trust, have sped the even tenor of your way pleasantly. Off then am I to the confines of Wales: I'll weary ye nought with a talk of the journey about steam and velocity, but shall "begin from the beginning," located within those ancient walls where erst of old our forefathers stood in firm resolve the onslaught. Old Chester to me is a favorite spot its beautiful Dee, so silently wending its glassy waters where in boyhood's hour I've flung the wily fly; and on yon Castle heights in manhood's day oft have I wandered with that to me regretted eccentric but noble-hearted soul, Squire Jack of Halston, who, ere he paid fatal attention to the poisonous bowl, was a companion worth courting. His classic mind poured forth streams that all might have quaffed with pleasurable information. Pained indeed was I on beholding his eccentricities heralded to the world-shewn up as a character forsooth! Poor fellow! Methinks it would have been more friendly, and far more generous, if the failings (and, God knows, human nature has abundance!) of our departed brother had been permitted with his mortal relics to have rested
Soft on their native dust in blest repose!" Excellent indeed is the adage, De mortuis nil nisi bonum!
A sad accident occurred to the Hon. Thomas Kenyon on his way to the races. It seems Mrs. Mytton was staying with other company at Pradhoe, and as she would pass through Whittington, where many of her late husband's tenantry reside, it was resolved to greet her with a salute by the aid of gunpowder, they, poor innocent wights, never dreaming that horses have ears as well as legs! On coming to the village, bang went