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all times open, the hounds night and day going in and out at pleasure. It has succeeded completely, and they are now full of vigor, and shewing that sport which for many years previously to being attacked with this disease they were so celebrated for, under the able management of Mr. King. On Mr. King relinquishing the Mastership four years ago, Mr. Walter Long, of Preshaw, succeeded him, and has had to combat with the difficulty I have named ever since. Notwithstanding this great drawback, he has by his endeavors to shew sport, his sportsmanlike and gentlemanlike deportment in the field, won the good opinion of all parties connected with the Hunt, and is countenanced by the support of the landed proprietors and occupiers.
On the 21st of January he was invited by the farmers and friends of the noble sport to a dinner at Bishop's Waltham, where he was received with a warmth of feeling which only Sportsmen understand. It must have been a gratifying day to him, and a very agreeable one to all present, amounting to nearly fifty. The Chair was filled by Mr. Warner, of Steeple Court, and the Vice-chair by Mr. George Clarks, of Bishop's Waltham. Several of the principal farmers in the neighbourhood were there, and a large portion of the Members of the Hunt, including the Hon. T. W. Gage, Mr. Chamberlayne of Cranbury Park, the Messrs. Long, J. H. Campbell, Esq., M. P., Sir James Campbell, Bart., Mr. Barkworth, Mr. Morant Gale, Mr. Atherley, Mr. Falwasser, Mr. Taylor, Captain Daniels (Coldstream Guards), &c.
The "Noble Sport" was drunk with hearts as full of good feeling as the glasses were of generous wine; honor was paid to the Ladies in a manner worthy of Englishmen; and the evening was enlivened by some excellent songs.
From the commencement of regular hunting, the sport with these hounds has been most satisfactory: in several instances the pace has been good enough to shake off the Field, including the Huntsman (Squires), who is rarely out of his place if his horse can keep him there. They have the aid of a good Whip (new to them this season) in the son of Jem Treadwell, the old and tried Huntsman of Mr. Farquharson's Hunt. That they may continue to shew good sport, meet with the support they deserve, and flourish in every way, is the wish of one of their warmest admirers!
January 26, 1845.
THE Open Meeting at Cardington (Beds), which was fixed for the 28th of January and following days, notwithstanding the appearance of frost, mustered a goodly force of Coursers from various quarters, and, thanks to Mr. Whitbread, of South Hill Park (on whose estate it is held, and who liberally preserves the hares for the Club), the sport was excellent. The head-quarters are at the Swan Hotel, Bedford, and where, I can say from experience, everything good is to be found. Mr. Graham brought Agitation,
GENTLEMEN, GENTLEMEN-JOCKS, AND GENTLEMEN'S GENTLEMEN, BY
LIVERPOOL GRAND STEEPLE CHASE
A BRUNCHEVAL'S JOURNAL OF SPORT IN THE WEST .........
LE CHASSEUR AU CHIEN D'ARRET.........
SPORTING IN BELGIUM IN THE OLDEN TIME, &C., BY FREDERIC TOLFREY,
ESQ., AUTHOR OF THE SPORTSMAN IN FRANCE"
THE CHESTER CUP, BY PETARD.........
A TICKLISH SUBJECT...............
ADVICE TO YOUNG NIMRODS, BY AMATEUR .....................................
POSTSCRIPT TO THE RACING STALLIONS FOR 1845, BY "Q AT THE
1. HUNTING THE RACOON. II. A TICKLISH SUBJECT.
Q. H.'s communication is declined. He should have sent the whole article, for it is impossible to form an opinion of its quality on two introductory pages. Just now, however, we are so much beforehand, that we have not space to spare, and for that reason we have returned the MS. to Newry, as directed.
"M. F. H."-We have refused two papers on the subject already. It is a very delicate question, and the peculiar sensitiveness of Masters of Hounds renders it difficult to explain or suggest anything. They will have it that it is meddling.
The Papers on the Kennel from Dublin are returned.
My Muse."-Yes! we very frequently have a page or half a page to spare. We shall be happy to take his Sporting Pegasus in hand, so long as he tread the measure lightly, and don't frighten the ladies.
THIS season, more than any we ever remember, exemplifies the advantage of supporting packs in inferior countries, so as to enable Sportsmen to hunt from their own homes. The weather has read a lecture more potent than any arguments our pen can supply. There is no doubt that the temptations of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and other countries we could name, are very great, and in good seasons amply repay the cost and trouble of a visit, if not of a residence: but in a chopping, changing, uncertain season such as this-no two days alike, and no certainty that because it was good hunting weather one day it would be so the next-storm-fast laid Gentlemen must have had frequent opportunities of considering whether they had not better have been at home, taking such sport as their respective counties would afford, instead of having to do two days' penance in country-lodgings for one day's hunting in a grass country. Another consideration is, whether three days a-week from home are not as good or better than five or six days away from it. We have known men, good Sportsmen too, and as keen as any going, living in first-rate counties accessible to hounds almost every day, who made it a rule never to hunt two days together. There is wisdom in this: they feel they were born for something else than hunting, and will not run the risk of making a luxurious soul-stirring pleasure irksome or laborious. Besides, it gives a day for reflection and anticipation, sometimes not the least enjoyable part of our amusements.
The man of fortune and pleasure, who can go from home for hunting, may say the abolition of inferior packs in second and third-rate countries is matter of no importance; but to those who cannot afford to do so, we maintain that it is a very serious consideration. Many a man can spare one day a-week, or, at all events, a day a fortnight, who might not be able to do more, and whose single day affords him as much pleasure and enjoyment as the constant attendance of the regular Sportsman.
We have heard many men say they never enjoyed sport so much as when stealing a day from the close application of business or professional exertion. Besides, the man who goes away for hunting should be fined a trifle for absenteeism in the shape of a contribution to the pack of the country. The season 1844-5 will only be remembered with gratitude by the hack hunter-letters. They have had a fine time of it: they have had their horses well wintered, and put into good condition for summer work. It is an ill-wind that blows nobody good, and it is gratifying to record that frost benefits some one. Job-hunters are becoming more in request every season. London and Edinburgh both supply their quota, there being generally a difference of two guineas a month in favor of hirers at the latter place. It is a system that has its convenience, particularly to men who want a season's hunting compressed into six weeks. In truth, however, this season's sport may all VOL. V-THIRD Series, N. S.-No. 28,
be compressed into six weeks of an ordinary one. We never remember such weather. After a bad February, we naturally expect a good March, but this year March has been worse than either February or its grandfather January, or even "Old Mr. December" himself. It came in as March should do, somewhat windy and wet, and Sportsmen packed up their things and sent off their horses, determined if possible to get a few weeks before the season closed. No sooner would they arrive at their destinations than back came both frost and snow.
On the 4th, we had frost; on the 5th, both frost and snow; 6th, more snow; then, by way of change, a fresh tantalization; on the 7th, came thaw; 8th, 9th, 10th, were the same; 11th brought a hard frost during the night, with a slight covering of snow, the foundation for a more plentiful fall on the night of the 12th. The 13th was bitterly cold, freezing all day out of the sun; and the 14th brought the long-threatened storm in the shape of the heaviest fall of snow we have had this winter. The 15th and 16th were two days of the hardest frost in the country we ever remember in the month of March. By six o'clock on Thursday morning, the 13th, in London the mercury in the thermometer had sunk to eighteen degrees. So intense was the cold that milk froze in the pails, the windows were covered with a thick rind, and the butchers, fishmongers, poulterers, &c., kept their shops closed. Weather-wise people predict a storm when the snow lies long in the hedge-rows. The prophecy has been verified this year. The severity of the weather at the present writing (the 17th) continues unabated.
Now all these sudden changes to a man at hoine are bad enough, but surprizing him in hunting-quarters-generally some out-of-the-way place for everything but hunting-are serious visitations and drawbacks. Add to these the extravagant charge of many-too many we are sorry to say-Innkeepers for their nominally "good accommodation for man and horse," and the Reader will see very urgent reasons for advocating the maintenance of home-packs. A good fox will make any country good; and, putting comfort out of the question, there is no doubt that a man hunts from his own house for one-fourth the expense that it costs him to hunt from an inn. Despite the Tariff, and all the remissions that ever were made, or ever will be made, fox-hunters will still find whatever they want as dear as ever it was. Has the abolition of the tax upon leather made their boots sixpence a pair cheaper than their forefathers paid?
Some may say, "but supporting packs in inferior countries will not prevent the vicissitudes of the season.' True; but having inferior packs may keep sportsmen at home, and save them the discomforts and expense of absence in ticklish seasons such as this. A man will say, "Why really the weather is so uncertain that I think I had better put up with inferior sport-such sport as I can get here-than risk the chance of being snowed or frozen up in seeking for better sport elsewhere." Besides, if a man leaves home, he must hunt every day in the week if he can get to hounds, or be lamentably unhappy the days he is not, which will entail double the number of horses that would have kept him going all the days he would feel inclined to turn out from home, where he has all his other amusements and occupations about him. These observations have been mainly suggested by reading the unfortunate