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him a drop-leap, with a fall of some twelve or fourteen feet into a hollow road, which luckily for both man and horse, had a deep sandy bottom. On another occasion, after a run of forty minutes with scarcely a check, I perfectly recollect his flying him like a bird over a very high and stiff fivebarred gate placed on a rise, just above a gully, from beyond which he was obliged to take his spring. Indeed, Quick, you could not have two better or safer horses for your cramped and difficult island work, which I think would severely puzzle some of the best Leicestershire goers.
“Why," rejoined Quick, “it is not every horse that can get across the island, if he be ridden fair to hounds."
“No,” remarked Jones, “nor many men who can ride as fairly to them as you do, Quick ; but I dare say even you were rather puzzled at first.”
“ Why, for that matter," answered Quick, “I find I can now get on pretty well; but I had had good practice before I came here, seeing that for seventeen years I had hunted in Cornwall and Devonshire, pretty stiffish countries also to get across."
“But perhaps your honour would like now to look at the hounds," said Mr. Quick, addressing himself to me.
I assented, though feeling at the time I was about to tread on what was to me rather terra incognita, for although from earliest youth addicted to the sports of the field, from having chiefly pursued those sports in our distant settlements abroad, I was, and indeed still am, rather a novice in the mysteries of the kennel, and therefore little qualified to judge of the merits or demerits of a pack of English hounds. No man, however, likes to avow his ignorance, more especially in the matter of field sports, particularly to one, who like Mr. Quick, was an acknowledged professor of the craft; and as we followed him to the kennel, I resolved to keep my eyes and ears well open, and my mouth as close as I could.
* "First," quoth the poet (I had read up Somerville for the occasion) :
“ First let the kennel be the huntsman's care;
Upon some little eminence erect,
O'er all let cleanliness preside.” All which instructions, thought I to myself, have here been strictly complied with-the morning sun here streams over the verdant valley of the Medina full on the humble building surrounded by tall palisades, where if * cleanliness preside," "state" certainly holds but little sway ; but in vain did I look about for “water and shade,” which, saith the same authority, “no less demand thy care."
“Yes,” said Jones, to whom I made the remark, " many great improvements might, no doubt, be advantageously made here; for instance those savoury odours emanating from the drainings of the kennel, and the decomposition of offal which now so powerfully titillate our olfactories,
could easily be obliterated by being buried in a covered tank, whose contents, from the natural slope of the ground, might be made greatly available in fertilizing the surrounding fields : still a certain amount of expense would thereby have to be incurred, for which reason probably, --with perhaps some lurking dislike of innovations-(for they are oldfashioned people in the Isle of Wight), things are allowed to remain in statu quo, spite of what saith the bard about banishing
The nitrous air, and purifying breeze.' But come along, Quick, let us parade the pack, and see if the bow-wows' look as well as they did at the close of last season.”
There is nothing-save perhaps a flock of sheep--which unless to the eye of a real "connoisseur,” has apparently so much sameness as a pack of hounds ; for whilst to the initiated in “dogology" the huntsman, as he summonses every one by name, learnedly expatiates on depth of chest, roundness of foot, muscular throat, spare flanks, and well-filled loins—to the uninitiated it appears a mystery how he can possibly distinguish one hound from another, so similar to the casual observer do they all appear, in their all equally well-fitting piebald coats.
Long and interesting was the conversation now kept up between Mr. Quick and my friend, too long indeed for the limited space available in this magazine ; suffice it to say that the pack was pronounced to be in excellent trim-Pantaloon, the leader, was much commendedSportsman, Regent, Hebe, and other crack hounds, met with their due meed of approbation and praise; and after promising to be with him the following morning-time, half-past ten ; place, Marvel Wood, within a hundred yards of where we stood-we took our departure, much pleased with Mr. Quick's intelligence and civility, as well as with our visit to the Kennel of the “Foxhounds of the Isle of Wight."
BY LINTON .
CHAP, XVI. But what of Mr. Snareall? He has not been looking from that window ?-No. True, it was winter time. Scarcely has his small and fox-like eye been cast on that glorious picture by the hand of Murillo ; if so, the thought arising from such act has been to consider its probable value, or to wonder how, having such a possession, a man can allow it to remain at the top of his mantel-piece, instead of converting it into stock.
No, he reclined luxuriously ensconced between the cushions of a large arm-chair ; not, however, with the ease or apparent habit of one
who daily finds himself so seated as a matter of course, but with the vulgar and hateful presumption which looks on poverty as dishonour, and wealth the one and only virtue which enables man to mount the ladder of distinction here on earth, and, for all he believed to the contrary, to attain the bliss of heaven hereafter ; and, as far as the earth was concerned, he was not far wrong. In fact, in the estimation of Mr. Snareall, the man wanting money-however exalted his talents, his virtues, or even his rank-unless he possessed an actual title which had a value, was nobody, and ought not to encumber the earth with his presence. And in like manner, all human beings rose in his estimation in exact proportion to their worldly wealth. Money was his idol ; to make it, his daily occupation ; to increase it, his hourly thought -his nightly dream! He had, in fact, but one object in life ; in plain language-the surest and quickest way of turning a shilling into a guinea. A lord was only a lord to him if wealth was attached to the coronet. A woman-however fair in person or refined in mind mere animal of household necessity, to order or cook dinners, and receive or wait on company-save that she had wealth, and then she was an angel. The fairest landscape was to him a desert, if the lands on which he looked were of little value per acre, or the glorious woods unfitted for the axe. Sportsmen were mere savages, who expended money on expensive and evanescent pastimes, instead of converting that money by usury into more ; sporting, in its practical sense, a joy unknown to him, save the sporting with people's feelings to his own advantage ; horses, mere animals to assist the labours, not the pleasures, of man; dogs, created brutes to guard the house from the midnight burglars, or to tend the flocks.
Such was the individual who presumed, thus unsolicited, to seat himself in a chair, which, from generation to generation, had been handed down in the family at Brooklands, and wherein the highest in the land in birth, and mind, and virtue, had felt proud to find themselves. As the Squire of Brooklands entered, and thus courteously addressed him, he scarcely rose.
“Good morning, sir! I would hope that I have not kept you waiting. To what may I be indebted for the pleasure of your visit-magisterial business, I conclude ; or are you desirous to add to my stud? If so, I may as well tell you at once that my stable is tolerably full at this moment.
“Neither the one or the other,” replied Mr. Snareall, only half rising from his well-cushioned chair ; “neither the one or the other. I know nothing whatsomever of an 'orse, save that those in the London cabs, poor brutes, are rarely up to the work required of them, considering the price charged for conveyance ; and as for magisterial business, I am a Londoner, who arrived last night by mail, and was put down at the side of Low Bottom Lane, where I had to walk with my bag on my shoulder half an hour in the mud and dark to the “ Western Arms,” improperly termed an inn, there to obtain a bad bed and a worse chop, for which I shall possibly have to pay high.'
“ Well, sir, pardon me, it will teach you this lesson in future: When next you come into Gloucestershire, ask for some eggs and bacon, or ham and eggs, and a quart of home-brewed, instead of a chop and sherry, and you will be well served for a little outlay. And now, what
may be your business ? Is it of dog or horse—mead or woodland ? We are plain, and, I trust, honest people in these parts—respecting men for their virtues, and, as I hope, pitying and pardoning their errors ; loving nature for nature's sake, and even dumb brutes for their affection to man. So fear not my faithful companion, though he certainly does not look pleased to-day.”
This had reference to the noble deer-hound I have already named, who, having followed his master into the library, was apparently illpleased with the manner of the visitor, from some cause or other, derived from instinct.
“A splendid animal, is he not, Mr. Snareball ?”
"Snareall, at your command. He is a very fine brute, indeed ; but I am little accustomed to the canine race. Moreover, so large a creature as this would be insupportable in a metropolitan residence; anddown you—ladies' lap-dogs, squire" -- and this with some vulgar familiarity—"are bad enough. But I cannot abide big creatures like this. What a vast quantity of victuals fit for human beings he must consume. In fact, the dumb species are not particularly to my taste."
“Nor the talking ones to mine,” the noble animal appeared to say, as with his brilliant eyes he first looked fondly on his master; and then turning towards Mr. Snareall, appeared to say—“Only give me a chance, that's all, and would not I shake the breath out of your body for speaking so disparagingly of our race.”
While the squire, taking up the cudgels on behalf of his favourite hound, exclaimed, with some ire
“Dumb creatures! Dumb brutes, as you term them—yet not in the sense you use the word—I fancy. Dumb creatures ! Why, the two homely words convey an appeal to our protection and pity. Dumb creatures are in their love so faithful, so patient in their sufferings, so submissive under wrong, so powerless for remonstrance or redress, that we take their parts against the human brutes, their oppressors, as naturally as was it a positive duty. I am not sure that I do not carry my sympathy still further. But I see, sir, you do not go with me; I therefore ask your forbearance that I should have commenced a conversation in which, doubtless, you are little interested, and, consequently, have wearied you. So, once more, let me say—now to business. To what am I indebted for this early visit ?"
" Why, squire, I will be as frank and as brief as possible,” said the little man in black, who, though he boasted of no tail, must have belonged to the Nick family ; for, as he arose from his soft-cushioned chair, his little sharp eyes appeared to glisten as those of a hawk about to strike his enemy. “I come not from myself, or of myself, though I am, literally speaking, here myself, but from that highly respectable tree, or firm, of Bagall
, Payne, and Snareall, of which I am the junior, though, I would hope, not the least important link.”
"Oh, a lawyer-a lawyer are you ?" said my good old parent, who was then little accustomed to the profession would he had never known.
“Yes, sir, I have the honour to belong to that useful and dignified profession. So I may at once proceed to inform you, that we three A.-A. L's-which readeth attorney's-at-law-were setting together, a few nights' since after office-hours, over a boiled bone and a sneaker."
"A sneaker !" exclaimed my governor, " and what may that be ?”
Why, squire, a sneaker—did you never hear it called by that name? Well, to explain : in city phraseology it meaneth nothing more or less than a stiff glass-with or without, hot or cold—of cognae, rum, or ginuines, as may be according to taste, with just sufficient aqua puraor, in nature's terms, hard water--to extinguish the fire, but not the aroma, of the alcohol.
So thus the sneaker--so called from the peculiarly mild yet extremely agreeable manner with which it ripples down the throat, most agreeably exciting the palate as also the senses of man
a broiled bone, or a rasher such as you recently alluded to, or even a crust and a piece of Cheshire, and an onion from its mother earth, are most undeniably sociable accompaniments to exciting the mind to more than ordinary powers, and assisting digestion to a most extraordinary degree ; indeed, I most strongly suggest and recommend a nocturnal sneaker, with the accompanying little agreeable et ceteras I have named, to your honoured self in particular, and to the whole Brookland establishment in general, not even forgetting the female branch of your household, who, if they differ not from the young women who are bred and born within sound of St Paul's, are above all the human race most addicted to sneakers and young onions.”
"I feel highly obliged for your suggestion ; but pray proceed with
“ Well, sir, to continue. We lawyers are a practical species given little to writing ; our clerks make our bills of cost, spoil parchment, and issue writs. But as I was saying, Bagall, Payne, and your humble servant were enjoying a little physical as well as mental recreation after the labours of the day, when our good waiting-maid, Matilda, entered the room, and placed on the table that friend to mankind and the people of England in particular, known to all the reading and unreading world—the Times. Well, squire, the Times lay there on the mahogany, when Payne—whom we term the dirty-work Co., that is, a right straightforward, sharp, legal adviser, who never says die, but go-a-head and get all, and beggar your neighbour, what's the odds ? his money or his coat or his life, it is all the same in the end ; in fact, a regular out-and-outer in the way of practical business—having placed his third empty tumbler on the table, and crossed his slippered feet on the fender, suggested a trifle of the news. · News !' exclaimed Bagall, finishing his sneaker, and taking up the paper, 'news !--why, by St. George, the Grand Broad Gauge have got their bill to Bath and Bristol, and contemplate a branch right through the Vale of Brooklands to the good old city of Gloucester.'
“The devil they have," said Mr. Western ; "then I'll be hanged if they touch my land."
"Pardon me, sir, pardon me--I said projecting, not projected; nothing is decided, in fact.”
“And never will be, while I am owner of this property."
“The Parliament House of Commons are a powerful, and, oft-times, a self-willed body of the Legislature ; so it is impossible to say what may or may not occur, events and time only can explain. Bagall
, however, with keen perception of advancing times, and a still keener head for the main chance, seeing the possible, nay probable, intention of the Broad Gauge directors, has, or rather is desirous of, giving them the go-by: so we three--that is the Co., Bagall, Payne, and self-put our heads