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inevitably become useless, as the have seen many, subsequently case may be, and which may be good ones, for whom even this defined by classing them as hard was too much. Great attention and soft in temper.
should be paid when you proAs a downright hard-tempered ceed to blow off at first, that the dog can only be of use to a keeper, whelp sees you, as, if the sudden or a sportsman whose practice noise comes upon him wholly unwill enable him to keep the ani. awares, it seldom fails to make mal in constant and heavy work, him scamper off and hide himself and as the treatment necessary to in terror. Supposing, however, subdue such will be detailed for the present, that a whelp, adwhen I come to speak of steady- vanced to the stage at which I ing from hare, it would be almost concluded my last letter, is hapa piece of tautology to notice it pily free from any inherent dehere : I shall therefore only con- fect, take a gun—it is in all resider the immediately succeeding spects superior to a pistol, though instructions as applying to dogs the last is most commonly usedof a fair temper, free from any and put in or on the priming remarkable defect; and then pro- only, as it may be flint or perceed to the conduct to be ob- cussion ; then select some retired served towards such, who from field or spot of ground where natural delicacy and shyness, un- there is the least possible chance skilful treatment accident of interruption from passers-by or when whelps, I have above de- even cattle-in short, anything signated as soft, which not un- whatever which may distract the frequently happens in the best animal's attention in even the bred dogs, and generally, princi- slightest degree-and being propally indeed, exhibits itself in a vided with a rope, to the end of fear of the gun.
which should be attached an iron Mr. Dobson, in his Kunopeedia, spike similar to that of a garden says he always considered this line, which may best be done by defect as indicative of some la- means of a plain swivel, such as tent bastardy or impurity of are on the common couples, and blood; but I have seen such a can be hail of the coarsest smith, frequent occurrence of it in dogs lead the dog into the most rewhose pedigrees were known to tired part of the place you have be unexceptionable, and who, selected, and during your prowhen once hardened, have proved gress there pay particular attenexcellent, that I cannot come to tion to his looks and actions: if such a sweeping conclusion, you have previously used him to though doubtless there may be the gun, well and good ; if not, much in the remark. All whelps and he fidgets or draws back, or should be used to the sight and betrays the slightest signs of unsound of a gun from almost in- easiness, loose him directly, and fancy, but it must be commenced return home.
return home. To persist under with great caution, and continued such circumstances would blink by progressive degrees. The him infallibly. If he betrays no priming of a flint or the cap of a uneasiness, proceed, and, going to percussion gun is quite enough for your appointed place, fix the pin the nerves of most whelps; but I firmly in the ground, make the
dog lie down, and, taking special down, and make him remain care that he observes all your ac steady. When he lies still, at tions, go through the motions of the end of one of your walks preloading, then level the gun as in sent and fire in his observance; the act of shooting, and blow off' and persevere in this until he lies the priming. If he jumps up or with composure at every shot : rushes out, the pin, if rightly put then increase your distance, and down, will check him, and you turning so as to get as much as must immediately lay hold of him possible out of his observance, and pull him back to the spot he fire unawares to him. This must sprung from, as near as possibly be well attended to and practised, can be; then lay the whip gently as it is the only means by which over him, and caution him sternly. a dog can be brought to drop Should he (though it is very sel- steadily out, or when he is a dom the case at first) lie still, considerable distance from you caress him and reward'him with when actually shooting, and you a biscuit, or some such gear. fire at a shot trod up without a Now load in his observation, but point. This few dogs, though put only in about as much pow. they drop well enough when you der as would constitute a priming; fire close over them, ever do; but should he fidget while you are so it is in my humble opinion a matdoing, put down the
ter of such utter necessity (for him well; he must lie still ; then reasons I shall afterwards expresent and fire. This (gra- plain), that, let a dog be possessed dually increasing the charge un every other qualification, and til it comes to a full one) must be lack this one, he cannot come repeated until he lies steadily. under the denomination of a This is the first lesson, which in a handy useful dog, much less a few days he will become quite perfect broken one. The whelp au fait in.
may then be loosed and taken to You may now let him lie idle different grounds, and some shots for a day or two, when, fixing over hin, and unawares to him, be your rope as before, commence fired, till whenever he hears the walking round and away from shot down he lies: then he is him, at a moderate distance. If made, and may be taken to the ache attempts to rise, keep him tual business of the field*.
* I feel nearly confident that this steadying to shot in the fixed rope may claim the all-engrossing excellence of being new, if iť had no other. I never read or heard of its being put in practice, nor did I ever, in a multitude of opportunities, see it attempted: neither was it my own method until within the last three years. I used formerly to get at this indispensable qualification of dropping out, by never taking out a young dog the first season; but when killing game was a secondary consideration, and I could give up all my time to him, using the old plan of pulling him back to the spot he broke from a work of much labour and time. At the period I mention, I obtained from a friend a bitch got by a Newfoundland dog out of a setter, who had been shot over for three days by an under-keeper, and allowed to do as she liked. As she had an excellent nose, I wanted to see and try how the cross operated generally: at first it was impossible to make her drop; but as, whe. we got acquainted, she stood the whip well, I set my brains to work, and this expedient suggested itself. 'I put it in immediate practice, and after a fortnight's steady perseverance made her as perfect a dropper as ever went into a field; it also made her back to the hand- a thing she never dreamt of doing before. I have since used it with success; it is the short cut to a great excellence, and brings a naturally good-tempered dog into play the first season (if needed)--a master I never could accomplish before--besides saving a world of trouble. The bitch in ques lion turned out a bad uncertain hunter; in all other respects she was very good.
There is a two-fold motive for no will but his own; whereas laying such stress on this drop- when drilled from a whelp into ping out to a random or pop shot. these movements, he knows no It applies equally to countries will but yours, and, if he falls into where game is scarce or plenty; any faults or vice, is easily and nothing contributes more to brought back, remembering to help in steadying from hare, as the last an education so thothe habit of dropping at the roughly grounded, while the sound being deeply rooted, it practice of the field never fails to supersedes in a great measure stimulate him to the utmost of his any other impulse. In a country powers. where game is scarce, and in a The method of treating a whelp wild day, when a man is anxious at this stage, who has the misforto get game, and his dogs come tune to have a soft or shy temper, racing in wildly to shot (as often remains to be considered." if down wind as otherwise, and when you shew him the gun, or their noses, from their unruly in any part of the progress he anxiety, off their work), they in- evinces any inclination to blink, fallibly spring' what may be be- or any uneasiness or terror, take tween them and him, perhaps his him home directly, and let him only remaining chance, and he alone until the season arrives. has the satisfaction of going home for a few weeks preceding this, without what he wanted, or pos. let the person who is to attend sibly an empty bag; whereas if you in the field, or any other
you the dogs had lain they would may select for the purpose, feed have remained collected, and, and make much of the whelp reproceeding steadily to their work, gularly, so as to get quite familiar either allowed him shots at what with him. When you go out, let he would have walked up in dis- this person follow you at a distance, or found them for him. tance with the dog in a rope. The Where game is plenty, a dog who shots may at first terrify him; but runs in is sure to do mischief: so I let him be made much of, and hold it to be a sine quâ non where brought gradually nearer, until a man chooses to do his work as you can shew him a dead bird or an artist.
The Highflyers, I two: this seldom fails to work make no doubt, may turn up their wonders, and when more reconnoses at this, and object that an ciled, the first winged bird geneanimal so broken may be put off rally breaks the neck of the diffihis mettle, and reduced to a mere culty: let him go up to the bird automaton. But to make a per- how he likes; and one or two days fect dog a whelp should be no of this is almost always sure to thing else. When a dog is but put all to rights. He must still, half broken, he may do tolerably nevertheless, be walked at a diswell at first with the gun; but as tance by the attendant, to teach he becomes stimulated by slaugh- him to drop out, and he must be ter he generally falls into one or made to lie down to each shot, more peculiar bad habits—which' and then brought up to the bird. from want of being early taught When he lies down steadily and
way he should go,” nothing of his own accord to the shot, he can reclaim him from-or becomes is finished, and is to be treated as so totally headstrong as to have any other dog, in the way I shahl
have occasion to mention when full stop, and teaches him to be as the actual business of the field much pleased at seeing the bird comes to be generally noticed. or beast drop by the shooter's I firmly maintain that these soft gun as at taking it himself. The dogs make the best when har- aboriginal pointer is of Spanish dlened, and many a first-rate dog origin, and our own is derived falls a victim to the gun or halter, from this race, crossed with that through the impatience and igno- of the fox-hound, or some other rance of the breaker.
kind of dogs, for the sake of imThere is another argument in proving his speed. This factifavour of high breaking, which, tious pointer is, however, discialthough it may be deemed pro- plined into staunchness; and this blematical, and more calculated quality is inherited by his puppy, for a philosophical treatise than who may be seen earnestly standa matter to be introduced into ing at sparrows or pigeons in a practical directions, still as these farm yard. The preference of his remarks are wholly desultory, master afterwards guides him in pretending to no rigid regularity, his selection, and teaches him or assuming no absolute arrange- what game is better worthy purment, I cannot help touching suit. On the other hand, the upon, as, if my mind is not altoge- pointer of pure Spanish race, ther made up on the subject, I unless he happens to be well broke am at least humbly of opinion himself (which in the South of with Sir Roger de Coverley, Europe seldom happens), pro“Much may be said on both duces a race which are all but sides.” This is simply whether unteachable, according to the progeny of well-broken dogs notions of a pointer's business. may or may not inherit some of They will make a stop at their these acquired habits of their pa- game as natural instinct prompts rents? I shall quote on this sub- them, but seem incapable of beject the words of an anonymous ing drilled into the habits of the author*, whose work, however, animal which education has formed shews him to have been a man of in this country, and has rendered, much curiousreflection:-"Every as I have said, in some degree caone conversant with beasts knows pable of transmitting his acquirethat not only their natural, but ments to his descendants." many of their acquired, qualities If there be truth and fact in are transmitted by the parents to this, and I am very much inclined their offspring. Perhaps the most to think that there is a great deal curious example of the latter fact (laugh who likes), it is well wormay be found in the pointer. thy the attention of every genuine This animal is endowed with the sportsman who may wish to be as natural instinct of winding game, near the mark as possible, to say and stealing on his prey, which nothing of the immensity of trouhe surprises, having first made a ble, time, labour, and vexation it short pause in order to launch will save him. himself upon it with more security I am, Sir, yours, &c. of success. This semicolon in his
A QUARTOGENARIAN. proceedings man converts into a July 10, 1832. * “ Thoughts and Recollections by One of the last Century." -London : Murray,
A DAY'S SPORT IN THE ISLAND OF TRINIDAD.
SIR, I Found lately on the floor of tending English sport is of a cha
my study the inclosed paper, racter very different from that which appears to be intended for which accompanies it in other your Work (dropped by some per- countries. In England the chase son who had doubtless visited me offers few, if any, perils to the exin the morning). If you deem itperienced, and there is conseworth insertion, it is at your ser- quently a pride and a pleasure in vice; and I will keep a sharp evincing the dexterity which look out on all scraps which may overcomes them-in other climes again be found in the studio, and the most wary may fall. not permit my Abigail to consign A sportsman in the East, any papers (which she is very who, like the Americans*, can put handy in doing) to the grate. a ball through the eye
of a swalYours obediently,
low as it flies, finds his aim no GILBERT FORESTER. protection against the scorpion ;
and the daring conqueror of the There is, probably, no reflec- lion not unfrequently falls by the tion more pleasing to a sports- bite of a serpent. man on his return to “ merry old
In the Western hemisphere England” from a foreign climate, there are dangers likewise, but than that he is once more in the they are not attractive : the fear country which has carried his fa- of being swept away by a mounvorite amusement to its utmost tain torrent adds no pleasure to excellence. Fired in his youth the chase ; but, such is the soul of by glowing descriptions of the a thorough-bred sportsman, that stupendous sport met with in he will rather brave the fury of other countries, and irritated, all the elements than forego his perhaps, by the tenaciousness of amusement. his neighbours, he has visited every It happened to me some years part of the habitable globe, spent back to accompany a couple of the meridian of his life in pursue sporting friends through the ing the game of stranger lands, woods of Trinidad ; and, as your and returns exulting to his own pa- readers may not be acquainted ternal estate, convinced at last, with the nature of tropical sport, by hard-earned experience, that an account of our excursion may “there is no place like home.” not be unacceptable. It was on
It might be imagined, that one of those fine mornings which as danger constitutes a great part perhaps are unequalled in any of the attraction of the chase, other part of the world for their the greater the risk the greater soft and yet invigorating coolwould be the enjoyment; and, ness, that my friend B- and therefore, that the lion, tiger, or De L-, accompanied each by chamois hunt would bear the palm his man servant, summoned me over English sport: but it must to join them in a day's sport. In be remembered that the risk at a few minutes my preparations
* This is a common boast amongst the Americans, and does not very much exaggerate their uncommon precision of aim.