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short heads and pendant ears; whilst others had their noses long and their ears pricked up : some were black and white, and others lomonpied ; two or three were ticked like common spaniels ; but all looked full of vigour, and well up to the mark. Ragot, who had been out pour frire le bois, returned accompanied by my faithful old garde, Henri, who will have a conspicuous place in my memoirs, if I ever write them. They had harboured a brocart (male roebuck), and their brisée was not above ten minute's walk from the rendezvous. That was capital news for all the party, and in particular for the Danish nags of MM. de Vaublanc. I was regularly introduced to old Ragot, who received me with a sort of familiar dignity which quite charmed me, and I remarked in him immediately all the characteristic signs which one recognises in geniuses of a superior caste : I found him calm, reserved, sober in speech, attentive to everything, without being absorbed in any particular point, and, above all, exceedingly clear and positive in the orders which he gave to the valets-de-chiens, who preserved before their chief as respectful an attitude as a worshipper of the Grand Lama would do in the presence of his idol. Besides, Ragot was one of the most polite men to everybody who addressed him that I ever met with : he had a habit of pulling off his cap to every sportsman who crossed his path, let the distance be what it would. If he had shown himself in Paris with such fashions as these, the people would certainly have taken him for the ghost of a courtier of the seventeenth century disguised as a piqueur of the nineteenth.

I will now go on with my little history. The weather was truly splendid, and just the thing for lovers, for poets, for a walk, for angling -in fact, for everything excepting the chase. The heavens seemed perfectly under the influence of the dog-star ; the ground, which had been roasted by the sun's heat for the last six weeks, could vie in aridity with the baked banks of the Niger ; a south-west breeze, enervating as the sirocco, gently moved the branches of the lofty trees, and stirred the dust along the roads; the soil was covered with toadstools, which had been drawn up by the excessive heat in myriads throughout the shady parts of the forest, and rotted on the ground in a stench of putrefaction, and spread forth such an overwhelming odour, as to threaten annihilation to the olfactory powers of the pack. Yet, in spite of all these difficulties, the find was magnificent. Ragot, to whom I had risked my advice of placing a relay, replied by one of those peculiar smiles which invariably illumine the countenance of a conqueror, so that the whole twenty couples were enlarged at once. For some minutes the hounds traversed the cover in silence ; at length one light tongue, almost as shrill as a fife, was heard ; others chimed in, which might be said rather to resemble the trumpet ; others still responded to them, and at last the air from the horns sounded “ Le Chevreuil," which announced the animal found. I drew out my watch, and found it was exactly five minutes past ten o'clock ; that having been done, I started off at a gallop, and gained a long avenue by which the roedeer must necessarily pass, and I was just in time to see him bound over with the whole pack close to his haunches. The sun shone in all the splendour of its brightness, and the earth was in an awful state of heat. After coming to a check in the course of a short time, we met with difficulties from which we feared we should never be able to extricate ourselves, and the cry of the hounds became fainter and fainter every instant. As I had a perfect knowledge of every locality of the country, I bastened forward, and was lucky enough to catch a view of our hunted chevreuil, as he emerged from a corner of the wood, and was about to traverse a wide plain for the purpose of gaining another and deeper quarter of the forest. This lucky manœuvre on my part enabled Ragot to bring up his hounds to the point where the deer had broken ; but, upon his arrival, the scent had again failed, and it was only by following the line which the animal had taken at hazard, that the pack were once more able to announce by their tongues that they were still in pursuit. The chevreuil now crossed some water, and making the best of his way to a small wood, having luckily left the large forest to his right, began to run up and down the cover exactly like a hunted hare, and all the efforts of the hounds seemed unable to make him out. Still Ragot persevered to the utmost ; his quiet and calm demeanour making one almost fancy that he was entirely discouraged from reaping his reward. At length he said the deer was evidently rasé (squatted down) or had entirely escaped. Every corner of the cover was tried over and over again, but without any happy results. We were all off our horses, and assisting to explore every hole and corner, with but little hopes of recovering our lost chase ; at last, upon looking towards a small furrow which ran along the edge of some oziers that grew at a little distance from the wood, I spied some dark-looking object, nearly covered with the rank grass, and pointing it out to Ragot, who was coming towards me, said to him, “ What is that?" In one moment old Ragot, divested of his horn and cap, had fallen upon the beast, and holding him up, produced the chevreuil safe and sound, but as stiff in his limbs as the legs of an arm-chair.

“Sound the Hahali,'' cried old Ragot to the other piqueur, who was at some short distance, “and halloo in the pack!”

I was perfectly astonished at so sudden a finish to the run ; for, upon looking at my watch, I found that the cheoreuil had only been on his legs fifty-five minutes. The pack were all kept back from killing the deer by the whip of the second piqueur ; and in a few minutes the company of chasseurs were assembled round the scene, and it was soon decided that a trial should be given to the animal to shew them another run, and to save his life by his legs if it were possible. Ragot carried the chevreuil in his arms to a distance of some hundred paces or so, and putting him down, the pack were allowed to follow in view. The poor beast was, however, entirely beat ; and after running for a few minutes, he was obliged to succumb to his host of persecutors. “That chevreuil had only been lately married,” growled out my garde, Henri ; “ no wonder he was so soon killed !”

Upon my return to the château, I found that the Count d’Archiac had arrived, who had come expressly to invite me, as well as all my guests, to pass a few days with him. He had, besides his habitual and graceful hospitality, to offer to us some wild-boar hunting in the magnificent forest of Cîteau, which was bordering on his own property. His invitation was accepted with great pleasure; and it was decided that we should all arrive there the next day but onc, in time for dinner. It is almost unnecessary to remark that we all kept our appointment with the exactitude of good sportsmen. At the appointed hour we all alighted in the great court of the Château d'Argilly, where we were received by our host himself, and I shall never forget his really cordial reception. In him we discovered the most perfect politeness, added to a natural warmth of manner. In this house were truly united elegance and simplicity, and here real and solid com fort was blended with the true hospitality of the olden time.

The programme of our day's business had been regularly settled by our host, and that is enough to say that nothing was wanting to make it agreeable. First of all, we were to have the boar-chase, which he had promised us in the morning; and after that was over, we were all to go and breakfast, about two o'clock, with Monsieur de Boulogne, the proprietor of the once royal habitation of Câteau. This was plenty of work for one day ; but the miraculous chase of the day before had put all the party so much upon the qui vive, that we all declared that the boar would and must be killed before midday, and that we should have plenty of time to arrive for breakfast by two o'clock. We were particularly anxious to be punctual, inasmuch as we were aware that Monsieur de Boulogne had invited a party of ladies to meet us ; and devoted as we all were to the chase, still we could not bear the idea of making them wait breakfast for us.

On the following day, at six o'clock in the evening, we all arrived at Cîteau, after one of the most laborious chases that could well be imagined ; breakfast had long been finished ; and it took all our powers of elocution, both true and poetical, to relate the adventures of the day so as to ensure our pardon for our most glaring want of gallantry. Monsieur de Boulogne certainly looked rather solemn upon the subject; and well he might, for he had invited five or six charming women to meet us, and our not arriving at the appointed hour had caused the responsibility of agreeably entertaining this whole bevy of beauties himselfa task which a middle-aged gentleman of some forty summers seldom feels himself perfectly up to. The only excuse for our want of punctuality was a long list of the misfortunes which had befallen us during our inorning's huntma circumstance not very likely to gain us much sympathy: if we had come off victorious, perhaps we might have entertained stronger hopes for our success; but the fact really was, that we had stumbled upon a whole troop of wild-boars instead of one--in fact. a family showing so much affectionate and patriarchal feeling towards each other, that it was next to an impossibility to dissever them. As soon as one was nearly fatigued, and upon the very point of being brought to bay, another took his place; and the hounds, thus baffled at least a dozen times, were, together with the horses and sportsmen, regularly knocked up. Notwithstanding the disappointment which we had caused to our host, he very soon recovered his accustomed good-humour ; and the déjeûner, which had only been attacked by a few delicate and feminine appetites, remained almost intact, and we speedily set about doing homage to it with an impressement that very soon gained us the perfect forgiveness of our host. All that was become cold, and ought to have been hot, we pronounced perfectly boiling : the champagne, lately as freezing as the ice into which it had been plunged, was become quite lukewarm ; yet we declared that it was equal to any we had ever drunk at the Café de Paris.

After breakfast we walked out into the park, and, with the most amiable sincerity, greatly admired all we saw-the fine old timber, the grottoes built with exquisite taste, and a most poetical-looking ruin, which showed to great advantage, lighted up as it were by the last crimson rays of the setting sun.

Night was now advancing, and in spite of the fascinating attractions which we had experienced in the society of these five or six lovely women, we were compelled to sound a retreat, for we had six miles to traverse, before we could arrive at Argilly to dinner, through difficult forest roads, almost impassible, and upon horses which were moreover completely jaded by the day's hunting. The poor beasts were led up to the door, and we all mounted them with that affected yet uncertain agility so usually conspicuous with men when “three sheets in the wind ;” and having saluted our worthy host with a regular jovial "three times three,” we resolutely plunged into the most sombre avenue in the forest of Citeau.

At first we proceeded on our way slowly and silently, receiving at every instant a blow in the face from a bough of one of the trees which formed a vault over our heads. At length we heard the cry of Halt ! at the head of our little column. We obeyed mechanically; and when we had stopped to inquire what it all was about, we found that young Viscount Olivier d'Archiac had, during the short interval which we had spent in enjoying the beauties of the park, returned to the château, and that in company with Rostang de Pracontal, he had contrived to purloin every piece of candle he could lay his hands on : his pockets, his boots, his breast were all crammed with bougies and tallow candles to such an extent, that, although there were above a dozen of us, we cach had one to light us on our way. The announcement of this most praiseworthy forethought was received with general applause, as might well be imagined ; our lucifers were inmediately put into requisition, for we very luckily had a few left in our cigar-cases, and in less than five minutes, the old patriarchal oaks of the forest of Cîtcau might have almost fancied that they were under the unseasonable influence of Aurora herself. The light dispelled all our gloomy thoughts about being lost, and wandering for the whole night in this dismal forest, and we do longer felt our fatigue ; our horses, too, pricked up their ears, and travelled with a lighter step. Our previous silence was quickly metamorphosed into noisy mirth, and I was called upon for a song, which I joyously performed, the rest joining in the chorus.

This retreat by torchlight across the wood had certainly something spiritual about it ; for as we marched along under the broad canopy of heaven, the torchlight, lost in this immense space, became feeble and tremulous, and we could easily distinguish the stars which shone above onr heads ; but when we passed through a more umbrageous part of the forest, the light being concentrated, became stronger, and the foliage of the trees glittered as brilliantly as if they were reflecting the rays of the morning sun. Our vocal music, too, rendered more distinct by the stillness of the night, produced a most grandiose effect, which formed an extraordinary contrast to the ludicrous deportment of the singers, and the burlesque words of the songs themselves. I am much mistaken if any one of the actors of this extraordinary pantomime should ever forget the extraordinary scenes of that memorable evening.

Our arrival at Argilly caused a perfect sensation, where a most ex

cellent supper awaited us; and whilst we were feasting away as if we had never eaten one atom of breakfast, poor Monsieur de Boulogne was trying to grope his way into bed without a light, for Rostang de Pracontal had not even respected the humble bed-candlestick of the noble proprietor of the Château de Câteau.



“Ours the fresh turf, and not the feverish bed."


Sir, — The interesting and practical papers contained in the December number of your always welcome and entertaining magazine, leave little to be desired on the several subjects they profess to treat. In them the race-course, and the hunting-field find able, eloquent, amusing, and instructive description and support. The coursing-plain alone lacks a representative ; and this hiatus, with your permission, it shall be my humble endeavour to fill, by forwarding you from time to time a description of the more important coursing meetings, with any observations they may suggest, and on the present occasion by proffering a few preliminary, though I fear desultory, remarks on coursing as a sport.

To course is defined by Dr. Johnson to mean “ to hunt, to pursue with dogs that hunt in view ;” and there is not, perhaps, one of our field sports and health-giving recreations, whether it be considered in relation to its antiquity or to its origin, that presents so many claims to the character of a truly British sport as that termed coursing. A celebrated author, the Rev. Mr. Daniel, the talented and elegant writer of “ Rural Sports,” has with considerable research attempted to trace its antiquity. Arrian, justly named the younger Xenophon, from the eloquence and sweetness of his diction, who flourished A.D. 150, bas eloquently and elaborately treated of it; and Ovid, in his “Metamorphoses,” has so well and so faithfully described it, that his description holds good to the present day. The importance that formerly attached to coursing may be said to be coëval with its antiquity. In the reign of King John, greyhounds were frequently received in lieu of money for the renewal of grants, fines, and forfeitures. A fine paid in the year 1203 consisted, among other items, of “ten leashes of greyhounds ;” another, paid in the year 1210, of six greyhounds. The celebrated greyhound, Gêlert, whose affecting story belongs to this period of history, was the favourite hound of King John's son-in-law, Llewellyn. In a ballad of exquisite simplicity and pathos, the Hon. William Robert Spencer has embodied the story of this faithful though unfortunate animal, and in a manner at once so graphic and so touching, that its length alone precludes its insertion in this place. In an old manuscript containing directions for the management of the household of King Henry the Eighth, among other details, the quantum of food ordered or allowed for the

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