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CANINE LUCUBRATIONS; OR, DESULTORY REMARKS ON
SETTERS AND POINTERS.-PART I.
Thoughts and Remarks-viz. attention, on any fresh attempt to the Breeding and Training of illustrate the subject. Setters and Pointers has been Such a young one, taking up unequivocally condemned by more your Magazine, may find what than one modern writer as a sub most likely may amuse, and posject utterly unworthy of illustra- sibly instruct him. If he is already tion or attention, for no other or a shooter, he cannot by intuition better reason than that it is “not have attained all at once that in. new*," and that "it has been writ- sight which experience alone aften beforet.” Highly as I esti- fords, or even that theoretical mate both these authorities, I am knowledge to be acquired by not singular in asserting that I do books. Perhaps he may never not coincide altogether in the have read a word on the subject, opinion, however decidedly ex or even yet burnt powder: in pressed; and further I may say, either case he may cause his atthat if every topic which is not tention to be directed to the connen, or which has been written sideration of many matters which before, was to be consigned to the otherwise may have been, or “tomb of all the Capulets,” might be, the sources of much what would become of the whole mortification, if not actual defeat. race of producers and purveyors Surely it may be said, without for the press down from the Great any great imputation of arrogance Unknown that was, to the printer's or assumption, that to such, just devil that ever will be unknown? entering on their shooting career, Solomon said in his day that a little dissertation on this head nothing was new; but I do not will not be altogether devoid of think that “the wisest man the interest or utility. Round in the warl e'er saw,” though tusk as I am, alas! getting, it was dearly loved the lasses,” had ever your Miscellany which first fell seen å steam-boat or a percussion into my hands and set me all gun--to say nothing of a setting agog--a stimulus, thank Heaven! dog. The last, however, is not yet unabated. Yet, after twentynew in our time: but allow me two years' successive experience, to say that this round world does Thumbly acknowledge that every not stand still, and that there is year I find I have something yet even now, in this our day, such a to learn-something new to me, thing as a rising generation, which had not previously sugwhose ardent and inquiring minds gested itself, or been observed. on topics that interest them ren Men are much the same in all ders all new to them, and who ages and times, though fashions are daily succeeding the old vary ; and, judging of the past hands, whose “absolute wisdom” from my own case, it is not very may induce them to look with unreasonable to infer something * Colonel Hawker.
+ GILBERT FORESTER. Vol. Y.-SECOND SERIES,No, 25,
similar of others in the future. at the trouble and expense of It would be the acme of pre- rearing—to say nothing of the sumption and impertinence to time lost (a thing irremediable); advance, that the ensuing remarks or perhaps after having triumphed and suggestions can any way, over that fell destroyer, the Dismuch less altogether, supply the temper: whereas, if you have deficiencies or obviate the errors, game and ground to resort to, both which, with great submission, I may be overcome, in almost every cannot help saying appear to me instance, by judicious perseto exist and occur in most works verance. And let me add (and I on this subject. I utterly dis am every day more strengthened claim such preposterous and diss in my opinion), whatever may be gusting vanity : but I feel confi- said about hard tempers, that dent that they will point out and dogs of a tender one, possessed explain much that is worthy of (and they generally are) of other minute attention, and even exhi- good qualities, make by far the bit in some particulars-especially best and most comfortable dogs, on one of the most important, in when wrought up and hardened making a perfect setter or pointer, into confidence. Many a mamma's that of being thoroughly steady darling, subjected to the severe from hare--something original, ordeal of a public school, has at while the whole system of break- first proved but a puling urchin, ing will be taken and considered but who, when seasoned, has galin a different view and on dif- lantly doffed his tile and fleshferent principles (to a certain de bag, and fought like a Lilipugree) from that which is esti- tian Dutch Sam. The same holds mated the common and only one good with the canine whelps. at present. When I say a per- Breed as carefully or as well as fect setter or pointer, I do it in the we can, it is not every day or year conviction, resulting from ample that we can get hold of a firstexperience, that every dog may rate whelp-one who inherently (as regards teaching) be so made possesses “ all that may become and considered, as far as his natu a” dog What this all amounts ral qualifications and abilities will to in the aggregate is no trifle : permit him to claim the title. a pointer or setter, to deserve the No one animal hardly coincides name, should hunt high, but with another in this particular. steadily; quarter his ground with But to read the works on this truth and judgment; turn to hand topic generally, one would be led or whistle; drop to hand, bird, and to imagine that it was a necessary
shot; back at all distances; be consequence that every whelp steady from hare, yet follow a should be formed of the precise wounded one if necessary; and reself-same material, that
cover a dead or wounded bird had first-rate stuff to work upon;
well-all which, I can confidently or when it is alluded to, and your say, may to a certain extent be dog supposed to be a little hard attained in dogs of all disposior soft in the temper, you are, in tions by the methods hereafter either
case, advised to resort to a attempted to be inculcated, as I halter, or a charge of powder and have proved by ten years' sucshot; and this after you have been cessive and successful execution.
BREEDING, ITS ORIGIN AND PRESENT VARIETIES, CONSIDERED
AND EXPLAINED. The inherent and indomitable nearly became extinct. The prinspirit for field sports (which cipal cause of its extinction was "age cannot tire nor custom dull” the net. The springer, doubtless, -and so may it ever continue !) was made use of at first for the characterised the Aborigines of net, much in the same way as the this Island at the time of the dog of the present day acts in a Roman invasion. The sport of decoy ; but as there is a kind of hawking, unknown to the Ro- pause inherent in most dogs who mans, who were at that time mas getattheir game by the scent, when ters of nearly all the then world, age and practice have made them was in practice among the Bri- cunning, it most probably sugtons, from whom the Romans gested itself to some of the more adopted it. Whether it existed ardent and ingenious, that this among the Parthians (now Per- part of their instinct might be sia), where at present it is carried improved, and at length peron in high perfection, we have no fected. data to determine; but in Britain But that the dog, called by us it did. Like all other civilized the “ Old English Setter”--the people, however, the Romans dog which the use of the net perceived that it was capable of brought ultimately into play as improvement, and the principal hawking declined among our anauxiliaries which they summoned cestors--was not at the outset a to their aid were the land and distinct breed, as it afterwards water spaniel, which dogs they became, there are almost positive introduced into this Island in the and absolute grounds for reign of the Emperor Vespasian. suming. I know (as I shall afThe land spaniel which they im- terwards mention) that many ported, most probably from hold a different opinion ; but I Spain--whence, at a period many shall proceed to what I consider centuries subsequently, came the proof. In an old black-letter pointer--could (from the sport he Dictionary of Rural Sports was designed for) be no other whether by Gervase Markham or than the largest of the springing not it is impossible to say, as spaniel species-such dogs as are neither the author nor the date of yet to be seen in the large wood- its publication can be ascertained, lands of Kent and Sussex, and the title-page being wantingsuch as we see precisely repre- under the head “ Setting Dog," sented in the act of springing in is the following:-"A dog trained all the old paintings (and prints in up to the setting of partridges, the old works) upon hawking. A from a whelp until he cometh to setting dog for this sport was perfection, you must pitch upon useless; a springer or water spa one that hath a perfect good niel was necessary. It would be scent, and who is naturally adsuperfluous to allude to what a dicted to the hunting of fowl. length of time the sport of hawk. This dog may be either a land or ing prevailed, or the perfection it water spaniell; or a mongrell was carried to: suffice it for our between both; or indeed the small purpose, that, like most sublunary shallow flued hound or bastard matters, it declined, and at length mastiff: he should be of a good
nimble size, and of courageous from the spaniel and a hound mettle, of a breed known to be capable of such instruction and strong, lusty, and nimble rangers, restraint is at least as probable of active feet, wanton tails, and a derivation as we can conceive. busy nostrills.” Now the black “ The small bastard mastiff” letter work whence this is ex is also mentioned. I once saw a tracted shews it to have been one mastiff in the mountains of Galof the earliest on this subject; and way in Ireland, who among a what a variety to compound a dog broken pack of grouse would out of does it not represent! give you a steady shot at every Surely if the land spaniel had bird in it; and there is at present possessed all the necessary quali- in this neighbourhood a fications for a setting dog, no men coly bitch, belonging to a shepwould have set about compound- herd, that would take the shine ing from such a number of varie- out of many a dog that is called ties, or embarked on the ocean of a pointer. I think it probable, speculation, the results of which therefore, that the very early they could look to with no cer breeders might resort for a cross tainty, had Nature made the ani- to any dog who shewed an inclimal they wanted ready to their nation to point. hand. Now it must be allowed Having traced the genus to that to “get active feet, wanton sources at least by no means imtails, and busy nostrills," a better probable, it may not be uninteranimal could not be selected than esting to endeavour to shew the land spaniel or large springer; whence the old English setter dewhich being in possession of, it be- rived its prevalent colours. They came a desideratum to obtain the were brown and white, commonly stop; and what animal could pre- called liver and white, red and sent itself more forcibly than the white, and red--all others are stop hound? Now, whether this new varieties. The brown, and was the deep or “ shallow flued” liver and white, would proceed hound abovementioned, it is not from the spaniel ; the red and very easy to ascertain. I think, if white, and red, from the hound. my memory deceives me not, Markham and all other old Gervase Markham mentions them authors inform us, as a distinct hound: at all events redand white, and red, houndis gethere were such hounds; and that nerallyof a cold melancholy phlegthey were in use as late as the matic disposition, with staunch reign of Queen Anne, a reference and tender noses, and very painto The Spectator, No. 116, will ful;” which quaint term of course testify. "The huntsman, getting means painstaking. Nothing can forward, threw down his pole be- be more natural to suppose
than fore the dogs. They were now that people who went about as it within eight yards of that game were to originate a particular aniwhich they had been pursuing mal for such a specific purpose, almost as many hours; yet on the would reasonably result to the signal before mentioned they all obvious inherent qualities of these made a sudden stand, and though painful red and whites. The red they continued opening as much colour leads to another consideraas before, durst notonce attempt to tion. There is in Ireland to this pass beyond the pole." Nowacross day a breed of dogs designated in
" that your