« ПредишнаНапред »
ship’s helpe, and yf she may light uppon a good horsse, swerly she shall have a great good turn, and I think myself happye. Your grey hobby is all the horses she travayleth on. My Lord and Lady live ye both well. In hast at Wyndsor this 7th of Sept. (1561 ?)
“R. DUDDLEY. “My very good Lorde of Sussex, L.L. of Ireland.”
As to the ordinary ancient mode of hunting in Ireland, when a few men would join, and, taking out as many greyhounds, contrive to slay more deer in a day than the most practised forester can now stalk in a month, I cannot find any graphic account of it. In those ages, hunting was occasionally undertaken on a grand scale, as in Scotland. In more early ones, when the Gael were in a state of barbarism, hunting was the occupation second in importance to war, because, primarily, it was requisite for procuring subsistence, and, secondarily, for lessening the number of destructive animals in the land. Whenever a clan had lost all their kine and sheep by a raid, there was little left for them except to live by the chase, with the adventitious aid of cattle-stealing on a petty larceny scale. We may imagine that, when so pinched for food, they were light and lively in pursuit of any edible animal.
The magnitude of expeditions of old in Scotland against denizens of her dense forests and rugged mountains is astonishing. In 1523, King James V. went out to hunt with twelve thousand men, and killed eighteen score harts. Next summer, in three days, he killed thirty score harts and hinds. An old writer thus graphically describes a great Highland hunting match:
" In the year 1563 the Earl of Athol, a prince of the blood royal, had, with much trouble and vast expense, a hunting match for the entertainment of our most illustrious and most gracious queen. Our people call this a royal hunting. I was then a young man, and was present on that occasion. Two thousand Highlanders, or wild Scotch, as you call them here, were employed to drive to the hunting-ground all the deer from the woods and hills of Atholl, Badenoch, Mar, Murray, and the countries about. As these Highlanders use a light dress, and are very swift of foot, they went up and down so nimbly, that in less than two months' time they brought together two thousand red-deer, besides roes and fallow-deer. The queen, the great men, and others were in a glen, when all the deer were brought before them. Believe me, the whole body of them moved forward in something like battle order. This sight still strikes me, and ever will, for they had a leader whom they followed close wherever he moved. This leader was a very fine stag, with a very high head. The sight delighted the queen very much, but she soon had occasion for fear. Upon the earl's (who had been accustomed to such sights) addressing her thus: “Do you observe that stag who is foremost of the herd ? There is danger from that stag, for, if either fear or rage
should force him from the ridge of that hill, let every one look to himself, for none of us will be out of the way of harm; for the rest will follow this one, and, having thrown us under foot, they will open a passage to this hill behind us. What happened a moment after confirmed this opinion, for the queen ordered one of the best dogs to be let loose on one of the deer; this the dog pursues, the leading stag was frighted, he flies by the
same way he had come there, the rest rush after him, and break out where the thickest body of the Highlanders was. They had nothing for it but to throw themselves flat on the heath, and to allow the deer to pass over them. It was told the queen that several of the Highlanders had been wounded, and that two or three had been killed outright; and the whole body had got off had not the Highlanders, by their skill in hunting, fallen upon a stratagem to cut off the rear from the main body. It was of those that had been separated that the queen's dogs and those of the nobility made slaughter. There were killed that day three hun. dred and sixty deer, with five wolves and some roes.
In a future paper I propose to enter fully upon the subject of similar grand chases in Ireland.
From the description given of the Gaelic Irish by the chronicler Froissart, it may well be believed that they were excellent huntsmen, whether on foot or on horseback. They are described as frequently living in their extensive forests in huts made of boughs, and as being so light of foot, that no man-at-arms, were he ever so well-mounted, could overtake them. “Sometimes,” says the chronicler, “they leap from the ground behind a horseman and embrace the rider-for they are very strong in their arms—so tightly that he can noway get rid of them.” This mode of embracing must have been more unpleasant than even the Cornish hug, since it often proved as fatal as if a bear had hold of the party, who had less chance of escape than Fitz-James when the dying Roderick Dhu grappled him :
Now gallant Saxon hold thine own!
The Gael above, Fitz-James below. Froissart's informant had, indeed, been taken prisoner in that very manner, which he thus describes : " During a skirmish between the Earl of Ormond and an Irish clan my horse took fright, and ran away with me, in spite of all my efforts, into the midst of the enemy. My friends could never overtake me ; and, in passing through the Irish, one of them, by a great feat of agility, leaped on the back of my horse, and held me tight with both his arms, but did me no harm with lance or knife. He pressed my horse forward for more than two hours, and conducted him to a retired spot, seeming much rejoiced to have made me his prisoner.” In fact, the mode described was a savage but excellent manner of taking a horseman, in times when securing a ransom was a valuable mode of obtaining riches.
This marvellous swiftness of foot was doubtless employed in the chase of quadrupeds as well as mounted bipeds. It would seem to have been inherited by a young Irish nobleman, and was exhibited before the English court on one occasion, if we may believe that the following curious bet was performed on foot. Old gossiping Pepys writes, 11th August, 1664: “This day, for a wager, before the king, my Lords of Castlehaven and Arran (a son of my Lord of Ormond’s), they two alone did run down and kill a stoute bucke in St. James's Park.”
* Barclay's “Contra Monachomacus."
THE PURITAN AT CHRISTMAS.
BY WALTER THORNBURY.
STEADFAST-IN-THE-Faith came in,
Crimson scarfs blew like a flame,
When the white-hot log was burned,
SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH JOHN BULL
SPENDS HIS MONEY.
THE true John Bull is generally represented as a patient, plodding, industrious, money-getting animal. There is a wide difference, however, between accumulating money and dispersing it again. The former is often gathered in by small economies, petty meannesses, and a vast amount of patience. The latter is often squandered in the most profuse and reckless manner. There are plenty of people in England who, having made themselves comfortable after this fashion, settle down easily in life for the sole purpose of enjoying in their own way the fortunes they themselves have helped to make. Then it is that the characters of such persons are fully displayed.
The Cartwrights are a specimen of the class. Mr. Cartwright possesses extensive coffee plantations in Jamaica, where he has spent the best part of his life with the one object of making money, and having succeeded in his aim, he and Mrs. Cartwright have returned to England for the purpose of enjoying their gains. Having secured a large house in a good country neighbourhood, they have set about embellishing it. Oh the sums that that drawing-room furniture has cost! The hangings, ma'am, all silk damask, at a guinea a yard at the lowest calculation ; and the chairs splendid walnut, none of your nasty veneering; and the ormolu tables, and the glass chandeliers, and the steel grates all burnished -why, it takes the maid three hours a day hard work to keep bright! —to say nothing of the pile of the carpet that your feet sink down into, and the lovely gilt mouldings. That room, ma'am, has cost Mr. Cartwright fifteen hundred pounds, he declares upon his honour, counting in the pictures on the wall; and hasn't he a right to be proud of it ? It is not a room to sit in every day, or a room that you can allow the common air to enter, or even a fire to be lit in, except on very grand occasions. Oh no, it is a room to be sealed up hermetically as far as regards fresh air--a room that wears in general modest garments of brown holland over all its articles to screen them from the vulgar gaze and the contaminating sunshine-a room, in fact, dedicated, not to the Cartwright penates, but to the pomp, and pride, and circumstance of the Cartwright show-life.
But we are neglecting the rest of the establishment, which is all in keeping. Such beds !--we should be afraid to sleep in them-such mirrors, such hangings, “such exquisite taste displayed throughout !" exclaims Mr. Walnut, who is the great London upholsterer and cabinetmaker honoured by the Cartwright patronage, and who is supposed to have aided and abetted in the interior arrangements. So engrossed has Mrs. Cartwright been in preserving untainted the purity of her carpets and the brilliancy of her steel grates, that she has lost all the colour and contour she brought with her to England, and is becoming day by day
more haggard, anxious, and careworn. So great a responsibility do riches bring along with them, it almost seems as though there were a curse in the very handling of the gold !
People say Mr. Cartwright has expended a fortune in his house; and his motive for doing so begins at last to dawn upon the neighbourhood. He invites those who have called upon him, particularly those who give good dinners, to come and feast at his expense. It is a banquet he invites them to, not a dinner. We are almost afraid to scratch the gorgeous plate set before us with the common necessity of eating that hunger enforces, and when we do eat, we feel that it is gold that we are eating and drinking too, everything is so costly and expensive that we see there.
Mrs. Cartwright herself is splendidly dressed. She informs little Mrs. Brown in confidence that hers is a thirty-guinea affair, but that you
cannot get a good silk under that. Little Mrs. Brown, who is aware that her own silk was far beneath five pounds in the first instance, and owns to being a “turned" one now, acquiesces meekly, and assures Mrs. Cartwright that she, too, always finds expensive things are the cheapest in the end, thereby trying to impose upon the good lady's credulity that she herself is in the habit of buying them.
The conversation is very set and formal. There are frequent dead pauses, after which some adventurous spirit launches forth a remark as a feeler, which is instantly checked if it meets the slightest rebuff on its way. In fact, these feelers are so sensitive that they are always put forth in the
Then there is a timid request to Mrs. Cartwright to show them over her beautiful house, and the grand lady consents very graciously, as indeed she has been expecting this petition ever since she left the dining-room. And then there are such exclamations of " Oh, how lovely!” “ How very beautiful!" "How happy you must be in such a charming house—it is quite a paradise !" &c. &c., that it must be strange indeed if she is not gratified.
When Mrs. Cartwright gets back to the drawing-room, the grand piano is opened, and one young lady performs a sounding piece of music, and another sings some misty words that might be pretty if only you had the chance of hearing them. Then the gentlemen saunter in, and talk politics, and agriculture, and hunting, all to themselves in little knots, occasionally approaching the ladies to make inane remarks upon the weather, or the country, or anything that they think is low enough to meet their comprehension. It is not at all a party where you can draw off into a snug little flirtation, or sit beside a friend and chat away easily and familiarly, but everybody is on their very best behaviour, and our host and hostess the most so of all.
A simple-looking young girl says she likes parties in which there is no formality, where people can drop in to dinner or tea without being asked, and be made welcome to whatever is on the table. She is talking to Mr. Cartwright's nephew at the time, and hopes he will drop in to tea with them to-morrow evening in this fashion; but Mrs. Cartwright, who has listened to the disquisition, takes her up severely, and begs she will not spoil her nephew by giving him those sort of indiscriminate invitations ; that it gets young men into slovenly habits that dropping into houses at all times and hours without being formally invited; and she would much