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brightest era of England's naval glory. The Gallant Admiral was engaged in almost all the actions of the great Lord Nelson, and in the ever-memorable Battle of Trafalgar was Flag Captain of the Victory, in which the Hero terminated bis splendid and triumphant career. It was Captain Hardy who endeavored to pursuade Nelson not to appear on deck in his naval uniform; and when this greatest of all great Commanders, “ Le Brave parmi les Braves," received the fatal shot, he fell into Captain Hardy's arms. The triumphant shout of “ Victory" lighted up for an instant the eye of the dying Hero; he eagerly inquired what number of the enemy had “struck," and on being answered “twenty-one," he feebly ejaculated, “ Kiss me, Hardy," and expired, A correct representation of this painfully interesting scene, with a faithful likeness of the devoted Hardy leaning over his lamented Commander, occupies a conspicuous position in the Painted Hall of the Hospital, to the Government of which the Gallant Admiral was appointed on the death of Sir Robert Keats. For his gallant conduct on several occasions, but particularly at Trafalgar, he was created a Baronet in February 1806, and, previously to his appointment to the Governorship of the Royal Hospital, was one of the Lords of the Admiralty. In all the Matches of the Club, the Commodore and other Officers invariably proceeded to the Hospital with the Prize Cups for their Vice-Patron's inspection, and Sir Thomas was ever ready to acknowledge the compliment, and to express his anxiety for their prosperity. Sir Thomas was
in his 71st year.
RODNEY'S TOUR IN SOMERSETSHIRE AND DEVON.
THE DEVON AND SOMERSET STAG-IIOUNDS,
• The antler'd monarch of the waste
Sprung from his heathery couch in haste."-Lady of the Lake.
You have not for some time heard from me: another hunting season, however, has commenced, and I hope to renew my correspondence. Already have the hounds with the glad horn made the woodlands ring ; and, as the season advances, your pages will, I hope, furnish us with accounts of sport from the different hunting counties.
Having received a very kind invitation to partake of the sport shewn by the Devon and Somerset stag-hounds, I with gladness accepted it, and started with pleasure at the idea of seeing the noble stag roused from his lair amid his native wilds. Stag-hounds had been kept for the purpose of hunting the red deer for many years previous to the formation of the present pack : from the year 1775, the following Masters have been at the head of the stag-hounds-—Sir T. Acland, Col. Bassett, Lord Fort scue, Mr. Worth, and Lord Greaves : in 1811, Lord Fortescue again took them at his own expense; in 1819, Mr. Lucas (who had previously kept fox-hounds) became Master of the stag-hounds, and after keeping them some years, part of the time at his own expense, they were given up. After this, Sir Arthur Chichester hunted the deer with his pack of fox-hounds; and on his retiring, the
present pack were established, in 1837, and have been shewing very excellent sport ; as a proof of which I may mention that these hounds last season killed six hinds in five hunting days.
The season for stag-hunting begins on the 20th of August, and ends about the 6th of October. The hind-hunting commences on the 10th of April, and closes about the 20th of May, though, I believe, it is the custom to run a few hinds after the stag-hunting season has closed. Thus the season for stag and hind-hunting scarcely interferes with fox-hunting, and many sportsmen, wishing to see this sport in its wild state, may perhaps, from this circumstance, be induced to take their quarters at Dulverton, as being the nearest town to the kennel, which is at East Anstey, about four miles distant. The deer being very abundant in the neighbourhood of the Hunt, the manner of hunting differs in some respects from fox-hunting. It is evident, if the whole pack were thrown into covert at once, they might divide, and each part get away with separate deer of all ages; therefore, on the arrival of the pack at the appointed place of meeting, about two couple of steady old hounds are selected to try the coverts: these are called “tufters." Intelligence is also, perhaps, given by the harborer, that a warrantable deer is in the wood, which he can tell by the “ slot,” and an experienced harborer can thus directly tell whether it is the slot of a stag or hind, a warrantable deer or not. A warrantable deer is one which
be hunted*. Should the huntsman slot the deer into a covert, and on going round it, and on the other side, find that the deer has not come out, he has very good reasons for saying “ he has har. bored a deer” in such a wood. The pack are now shut up in some barn or stable, and the tufters, under the direction of the whipper-in, are thrown off. The deer is thus roused from his lair, and on his breaking away (if warrantable) the pack are laid on.
be roused and break away on which the pack are not laid, unless
any of them are of sufficient age to be hunted. Should, however, the tufters find no deer, and there is good reason for supposing a warrantable deer is still in the covert (and often an old stag will lie closely couched and not move for the tufters), the whole pack are thrown in. Should the stag be then found, ye gods, what a crash! the most eager sportsman cannot wish for a finer sight than to see a noble stag break covert with eighteen or twenty couple of hounds after him. The tufting is the only part that can be urged against stag:
* According to Mr. Scrope, in his “ Art of Deer Stalking,” before deer are one year old they are called (male and female) Calves; after one year old, the male is termed a Brocket; at three, a Spire; at four, a Staggart; at five, a Stag; and at six, a Warrantable Stag: he may afterwards be called a Hart. The female, after one year old, is termed a Hearst; and at three years old, a Young Hind.
The stag's brow, bay, and tray antlers are termed his Rights; the upright points on the top of his horns are called Crockets; the liorn itself, the Beam ; the width, the Span; and the rough part of the base, the Pearls.-A Brocket has only knobbers and small brow antlers ; a Spire, brow and uprights ; a Staggart, brow, tray, and uprights; a five-year-old, brow, bay, and tray-two on top, that is, a crocket on one horn, and an upright on the other. A Warrantable Stag has brow, bay, and tray, and two points on the top of both horns. Harts that arc crowned with three points at the upper extremity of each horn are termed Royal.
The mark of a deer's tread is called his slot; his haunt is termed his lair ; where he lies down, his harbor or bed; where he rolls himself, his souling-pool ; his breaking-place over a hedge, his ruek ; when he goes to water, it is called going to soil; if headed back, it is called blanched ; if he stops in a river, or lies down in a pool, during the chase, it is called sinking himself.
hunting when compared with fox-hunting, as the crash of the pack is lost at the moment of finding. There is another curious circumstance, by which a person skilled in the art can distinguish whether a stag or hind is in the neighbourhood—this is, from the manner in which the stag eats the ears of corn. A stag eats the whole ear, the hind bites off only half. These remarks may interest such of your readers as have not yet partaken of the sport, and who some time or other intend having a week or two's hunting with the only pack of stag-hounds in England which find their deer wild.
The hounds, considering the short time they have been established, are a very fine pack. Were a couple or two of the smallest drafted, they would be very even to the eye. Pilgrim, Possum, Hearty, Governess, Rocket, and Vanquisher, with a few more whose names I do not at present recollect, appear at the head of the destructives. The tufters generally used are, Comus, Bobadil, Selima (all from the Royal pack), and a fine old bitch called Merrylass. The hounds are brought out in first-rate condition by the huntsman, Tom Snooks, who many will remember as being in by-gone days whipper-in to the following distinguished Masters of Hounds :--Vr. Simmonds (when he had hounds in Berkshire), Lord Kintore, Lord Moreton, Lord Radnor, John Warde (when he hunted the New Forest), and afterwards to Mr. Villebois. He is a first-rate rider to hounds, having a quick eye and light hand, and can beat most men; he may with truth be said to have lived all his life with hounds. He afforded considerable amusement to the Field one day last season after the death of the deer. He had jumped into the water to secure the deer, and came out thoroughly drenched: he asked some of the field how he was to get the water out of his boots. “ Take them off, to be sure,” said some. “ Oh! I know a trick worth two of that,” said Tom: upon this he stood upon his head by the hedge side, and thus got rid of the water, much to the amusement of the spectators*. He appears to like stag-hunting ; but I take it he cannot quite get fox-hunting out of his head. He is assisted in the field by James Gibbs, an active whip, by whom the hard work of tufting is performed.
The farmers appear to enter into the sport with great spirit : most of them ride capital horses, a sure means of securing sport; and as they are the persons who suffer most by the deer trespassing over their grounds, it is pleasing to see them take an active part in the chase. As I before said, the hounds are kept at East Anstey, under the management of that well-known sportsman, W. B. Stawell, Esq., who has kindly lent the use of his kennel. Mr. Stawell is, I believe, one of the oldest stag-hunters in the county; nor does he confine himself entirely to the chase : he is a capital shot, and many are the heath-poults and birds that have fallen to his gun. He some years back owned a celebrated hunter, called Dick Trot, for which he refused eight hundred guineas : he is, in truth, a fine specimen of the English Gentleman, with highly. refined manners.
* A similar anecdote is related of the celebrated " Matty Wilkinson," Master of the Hurworth Hounds :
“ Or how, supine upon the plain,
a horse go,
I was very fortunate in seeing the Hall at Barons Down (Mr. Lucas's residence), celebrated for the number of stags' heads with which it is adorned. This grand sight strikes forcibly on a stranger entering the Hall, and any person may find a great source of amusement by examining these noble antlers, scarcely two of which are alike. I think I counted as many as thirty-one heads, to each of which is attached a small tablet giving an account of the run in which he was taken. The most perfect head appeared to be one killed in 1823 : it had bow, bay, and tray, with three on top each side. Barons Down is admirably situated as a sportsman's residence, both for hunting and shooting; and the cock shooting around is some of the best in England.
The hounds are attended by some first-rate riders, and certainly the country requires it; and if a man can live with hounds in a sharp run over this difficult country, he can go well in any other. The Messrs. Knight, of Exmoor, are said be first-rate performers across country; and indeed, mounted as they are on the best of horses, they ought to be, and I believe generally are, the leading men. Mr. Lucas is a good and bold rider : his object appears to be always to get to hounds, and he is never far off: he has plenty of nerve, and, when well mounted, it will be a difficult thing to beat him. If any one can make
I should say he could. When the weather permits there are generally several Ladies in the field; some to witness the tufting, but many to join in the chase, and right well they do so across the rough moor-up hill and down. A celebrated Dorsetshire sportsman said he should carry their fame with him into Dorsetshire. One Lady, I remember, going along very fast, had the misfortune to break her saddle girths, and although thrown some distance, nothing daunted, she procured a fresh saddle, continued the chase, and was present at the death.
The weather has been sadly against sport this season : nevertheless they have had two or three good days' sport. They met on the 20th at White Stones; found three stags, which went away together over a tremendous hill, the hounds leaving the horsemen considerably behind ; by an unfortunate turn at the top of the hill the men were quite thrown out, and the hounds had a famous run all to themselves.
On the 27th, met at Molland Post. A stag was disturbed, and went away before the hounds arrived—no other stag found.
On the 30th, Dulverton was the meet, but the wet morning prevented a very large field. The Haddon coverts were drawn, but no warrantable stag was found : so, for the sake of a gallop, the pack were laid on a hind. She broke by Upton Wood below the Church to West Hill, entered the Haddon coverts, across the Heath to Winne Corner, to Swinecleave, over to Padwells, through Barons Down to Brockhole Wood, on to Barlinch, across the River Exe to Excleave Wood, over Heathridge to Court Down, up and over Winsford Hill by the Devil's Punch Bowl to Withypool, on to Lanacre Bridge and Darlie Corner, one field from the boundary of Exmoor, where a check stopped the hounds, and, being very late, the pack were taken home. Had it been a stag, the chase would have been continued. It was reported afterwards that a stag had been left in the morning closely crouched in a ditch in Upton Wood.
Tuesday, Sept. 10th. The meet Hawkridge Ridge. No one could for certain say that a stag had gone away, although many thought so. The tufters were then sent to Burrow Wood, and got away with a very fine hind: it being late in the day, and rather a numerous field out, the pack were laid on. She took a line over part of Winsford Hill, through the Inclosures, sunk the Vale, and made for Marsh Bridge, evidently pointing for Haddon coverts : I take it she was here blanched, and therefore backed it towards Marsh Wood; turned again, and beat up the water, and was finally killed at Three Waters after about an hour and a
The hounds hunt the water-side and in the water admirably, searching every part where there seems likely to be a particle of scent. This appears to be very necessary, as a deer is almost sure to go to water during some part of the run.
I was glad to hear that two or three more gentlemen had already become Members, or were on the point of adding their names to the subscription roll. This is as it ought to be, for a pack like this, established as it is for the entire purpose of hunting the red deer, ought to be supported on all sides. Here the very animals abound for whose sakes in days of yore houses and dwellings were swept away, and for whose preservation rigid laws were enacted by one of our early Monarchs.
Very excellent accommodation can be obtained at Dulverton, with very good stabling; and the sportsman may be sure his hunters will fare much better than was the case many years back, when a gentleman who accosted the then Giles Gosling of the age, and requested that his horse might be turned out to grass for the night, as he had brought a grass horse with him, “ Jack," said he, “ turn this gentleman's horse into the Long Field, and if that grass is not good enough for him, turn him into the Hundred Acres.” The gentleman was well satisfied with this order, and no doubt went to bed comfortably enough. Next morning, however, he found the Long Field to be nothing more than the green lane leading into the Hundred Acres, which was about the size of a good dining-room.
RODNEY. September 15, 1839.
(To be continued).
THE DISPUTED SUSSEX COUNTRY.
Had an abler hand than mine taken up the pen I would not have made a cast into the disputed country of Sussex; but there are two sides to most questions; and to each of your readers—and I know they are numerous as the stars in the firmament~I say audi alteram partem. I blame not HAL OF THE WEST for fighting Henry Wyndham's battle. In gratitude he is bound to do so, having so frequently partaken of his hospitality and ridden his horses; but I think in fairness he might have mentioned the names of some or all of the Masters of Foxhounds to whom a reference had been made, and not merely selected one whose answer was unfavorable, but whose name alone is a strong argument in favor of Colonel George Wyndham. The whole dispute-if such it may be termed—is simply thus :-Lord Egremont during his lifetime wished VOL. XIX.-SECOND SERIES.No. 114,