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recurrence of “t'racesses." But the providing for and promoting the sport seems to be nobody's business-neither any one's pleasure. Unless they manage these things better, and soon too, Liverpool will not rank even with the ordinary provincial meetings of this the go-ahead era of the turf. It must not be omitted, to the honour of the late tryst on the shores of the Mersey, that it introduced to the world the first favourite for next year's Derby-Lord Eglinton's colt, by Lanercost, out of Barbelle, hight Van Tromp. They took 15 to 1 about him on his victory for the Mersey-not very flattering odds for backers with such a long day before them : also to the glory of the north, the especial district of good cheer, let it be said, that the fashion of feeding in the Grand Stand was peerless. They gave you literally all the delicacies of the season, and many both prospective and retrospective, for three shillings. Think of that, ye vendors of consumptive chicks at Epsom and Ascot, at seven-and-sixpence a-piece.
A far more characteristic site for a race-course than Aintree lies on the line of rail leading from Liverpool to Manchester, known as Newton Moor. The annual races were held there on the 22nd ult., and two following days. It is a most picturesque spot-in natural aspect, rural and exceedingly pretty ; while the noble viaduct which spans its valley throws over it the charm of art in its fittest application—a work of vast social utility. It will not be necessary to go into the details of the sport. The Drawing-Room Stakes the certorial of the northern turf, Mr. Meiklam, won with a two-year-old daughter of Lanercost—the most perfect racer, though he did n't win the Leger, of his day. The Ĝolborn Stakes fell to Mr. Mostyn's lot. The Borough Cup, Yardley was good enough to win again for the third time... During the month there was racing at other places ; among them at Southampton, where may such sports long prevail ! It has one of the most lovely courses that any town in England can boast of—a spot for summer Olympics just such as one would order for the purpose, having good taste. Thus have we reached the middle of the racing season of ’46, with this deduction from so much of it as we have had experience of—that the turf was never so popular or prosperous as it is ; that it never exhibited more healthy symptoms, or more goodly promise. Vivat !
THE LIFE OF A FOXHOUND.
BY JOHN MILLS,
“ But, look! the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill."
The dew fell, dropping from leaf to leaf, and hung on the greensward in an endless succession of glistening gems. The mist floated on a light breeze, scarcely strong enough to waft the wet spider's film
meshed on sprig, and bough, and hawthorn spray. Mushrooms marked the rings where the elves of the night had held their orgies, and the fairy's light-the glowworm's lamp--still shone faintly on the mossbank. Like a bride, veiled, but not hidden, the young, gay morning broke, with a smile, the slumbering hours. Drooping flowers raised their petals, and folded blossoms opened to her kiss. Wild and happy birds heralded her coming, and all things of the day welcomed her.
At daybreak we were on our road to Wiverton Gorse, accompanied by Will Sykes, the huntsman, Tom Holt and Ned Adams, the assistant whippers-in. I could not suppress the delight I felt in going to cover ; and, instead of the home-sick and sullen feeling which I had had for a length of time, I was ready to jump out of my skin with spirits.
“ Pray, keep quiet !" said Trimbush, in a reproving tone, as I galloped to his side, and laid hold of one of his ears by way of an invitation to a romp. “ Pray, keep quiet!” repeated he : " you can't be too steady in going to cover. Nurse your strength,” he continued, til it's wanted."
“ I could race for thirty miles this morning, without a check !” replied I, boastfully.
“ Pooh, pooh!” rejoined Trimbush ; " that's the way with you young'uns—all brag and self-conceit; and when it comes to hard running, where are ye in a brace of shakes? Somewhat in this forın," continued he, hanging down his head, with out-stretched tongue, and drooping stern.
I laughed heartily at Trimbush's acting a fagged and beaten hound ; and, although I had not seen one at the time, I subsequently learned that it was a very faithful representation.
“One would think, from that puppy's gambolsome larking," observed the huntsman, pointing to me, “ that he knows what he's going about."
“ Perhaps he do," sagely returned Tom Holt.
“ How the devil should he ?” rejoined Will Sykes. “ Isn't this his first day's cub-hunting?"
“Yes," added the first whip. “But don't you think them dumb animals have a language of their own ? I'm blest if they don't almost talk to us sometimes.
“ Ha! ha! ha!” laughed Will Sykes. “You're a pretty kind of a Christian, Tom. I suppose, by-an’-bye, you'll say they sing hymns."
“ I don't see why they shouldn't!" replied the imperturbable Tom Holt. “ At least," continued he, “ if they don't, they're a d-d sight more sensible than many of those that do."
“ Come, come,” said the huntsman, in a correcting tone ; back, Tom. We shall have stones fall from the clouds presently, if you go on in that way."
" It wouldn't surprise me if they did," replied the whipper-in, as cool as a cucumber. “When so many folk, both gentle an simple, are building castles in the air, it's nothing but reasonable that some o' the stones should tumble.”
“Ca-a-pital!" added Will Sykes, admiringly. “ I like a sharp and ready tongue. But you don't really mean to say, Tom, that you think hounds have a way of speaking to one another ?”
“Yes, I do," replied the whipper-in ; " and have no doubt of the
“ try fact. They have the sense, continued he, “ to understand what we say to them, and a great deal, in my opinion, of what we say of them; and it's quite as natural, if not more so, that they should have a language of their own, as it is for them to comprehend a foreign one.”
“ Your notions are queer ones, Tom !” observed the huntsman. “ And you'd have me believe, I suppose, that Ringwood there has been told what he's going to do ?”
“ Nothing more likely," replied Tom Holt.
We were now on the verge of Wiverton Gorse—an extensive brake of some forty acres of high but not thick furze, except in patches where it had been lately cut. “ Don't let a hound get away,” said the huntsman.
“ We'll rattle the covers well ; but be sure and hold the hounds in."
At this moment Bluecap and Dauntless made an attempt to sneak away ; and, before getting a rate from Ned Adams, found his doublethong cracking round their loins.
“ That's for not waiting for orders,” observed Trimbush.
“ Cover-hoik! cover-hoik!” hallooed the huntsman ; “ Elooin-hoik!" and into the brake we crashed like a flash of lightning.
“ That's the dash of the old blood !” said the huntsman, as I rushed through the gorse with the ambitious eagerness to find.
I'd bet a season's capping,” continued he, “ that he takes as kindly to work as a baby does to sucking.”
“ You'd better keep by me,” observed Trimbush ; “6 and learn a little of your business, instead of tearing out your eyes in that blundering, stupid manner. One would think, if you were not a greenhorn of puppy, that a dying fox stood before ye, instead of not having so much as found one."
But I was in no humour to be dictated to ; and in spite of lacerating the corners of my eyes, ears, and stern, I flew right and left through the furze, in the hope of being the first to challenge. In pressing through a thick patch, I scented that which I instantly concluded must be a fox ; and, immediately afterwards catching a glimpse of something spring across a ride, I threw up my head and made the cover echo as I dashed along the line. I was much surprised, however, that none of the old hounds joined me, and that, with the exception of three or four of the same age as myself, who merely gave tongue because I did, no response or cheer was given to my efforts. In a few seconds we found ourselves through the brake at the farthest corner up wind, and in close proximity to the dreaded presence of Ned Adams.
“War hare, puppy !" hallooed he, riding at me, and cracking his heavy whip. “ War hare ! war hare! Hoik back! hoik back !"
Learning that I had committed an error, I was not slow to obey the caution by getting out of the reach of the thong ; although, as I afterwards discovered, there was no fear of being punished for a fault until it had been repeated. Scarcely had I again turned into the brake when my friend Trimbush gave a deep-toned note announcing that a fox was a-foot.
“ Hoik to Trimbush !" hallooed the huntsman ; « Hoik to Trimbush !” and, as a bunch of hounds took up the cry, he added—“ Hoik together, hoik!”
Galloping on the line where three or four couple of the knowing ones were feathering their sterns and ringing their music, I for the first time winded a fox. Anxious to distinguish myself, I at once began making more din about it than all the old hounds put together.
“ Don't jingle your tongue as if you were currant-jelly hunting," said Trimbush, contemptuously, as I joined his side. "A workman," continued he, “ never wastes his breath with too much whistling.'
Feeling that there was truth in his chiding, I changed my tone, and gave tongue only when my friend did.
“ That's right,” remarked Trimbush, flattered at my observing his dictate : “now you sound like business."
** Have at him!” hallooed Will Sykes. " Y00-00-it, hoik!”.
Hounds were now hunting in every direction of the cover ; and it was evident that several foxes were before them.
“ The vixen and the whole litter are a-foot!” I overheard the first whip say.
"Did you view her ?” inquired Will Sykes.
" I thought so !” quietly observed Trimbush, stooping his muzzle to the ground, and drawing, with infinite gratification to his olfactory nerves. “I thought so," repeated he: “a vixen, except she's barren, never carries such a scent as that.” “ You know the difference, then?” returned I.
Aye,” rejoined Trimbush ; " as well as if I had helped to break her up. And so will you in a couple of seasons.
“ But how ?” asked
“ By experience,” replied my companion ; " and from the natural aversion most animals have to destroy anything with or about to have young. But come,” he continued, * this is no time for talking ; although we shall be stopped from getting away if they can get to our heads in time. However, keep close to me; and I'll try to get a bat by ourselves in spite of 'em."
“Who-whoop," hallooed the huntsman.
“ They've chopped a cub," said Trimbush. “ Now's our time if Ned Adams doesn't head him back."
A succession of loud cracks from a whip followed ; but no halloo was given.
" He's gone away,” remarked Trimbush, with glee ; « and we'll be on good terms with him. Stick to me.”
Keeping close to my companion's stern, I ran stride and stride with him through the brake until we came to a corner of the cover where the fox we were hunting broke away. “ Now then,” said Trimbush, cheerily; "up with
head and down with your stern. Come along ; the scent's a burning one.”
The instant that Trimbush was free of the cover he laid himself upon the line, and raced like a greyhound ; I following in his wake. Hearing the heavy stride of a horse in our rear, I turned my head to see who was following:
“ Take no notice,” said the old hound. “ If Ned gets to our heads -and he'll prick blood for it I'll be sworn—the sport's all over with us. “ What the deuce does he want to stop us for?” inquired I. “ Pooh,” rejoined Trimbush, “Rattle on."
The second whip came spurring on with the evident desire of reaching us ; but the faster he came, the faster we flew.
· Ha, ha !” laughed Trimbush ; “ we'll give ye a sob for it.”
Along two open grass fields we led the whipper-in ; and then, for more than a mile, up a long, narrow lane, flanked by two high banks.
“ I haven't carried a bit of scent since we left the turf,'' observed I. “ Nor I either," replied my companion. “ Then what's the use of Hashing on in this way?" I asked.
“You've no cunning in ye yet,” rejoined Trimbush ; " or you wouldn't ask such a simple question. However, so much the better. Craft in the young is unwholesome ; while, if the old don't possess some, they have lived too long unprofitably. Now, we have no time to stoop, and if we had we could do nothing with the scent on this hard, dry road; but having found our fox up wind, and as he turned down upon breaking cover, I know that he will not turn again. We have, therefore, but to make our own cast good one way; and then, in the event of not being able to hit it off, to try the other to be certain of getting on the line-unless, indeed, he should chance to turn short back, which not one fox out of a hundred will do, unless it is to die."
“ But we shall have no chance of making a cast,” said I, “with Ned at our sterns."
I know the point he's making for,” returned my friend ; " and if we once get clear of this everlasting lane on to the scrubs, I'll forgive Ned if he stops us this time. I do like,” continued he, “ a run o' this kind. There's a spice about anything stolen.”
Upon coming to a sudden turn in the road, Trimbush all but stood still at seeing a large flock of sheep in our way; who, upon our nearing them, began scampering before us, and became wedged together like one solid body.
“ The devil!” exclaimed my companion, making an ineffectual effort to reach the edge of the steep bank, and reeling almost over in the attempt. “ No matter,” continued he, springing upon his feet, and rushing forwards he galloped along the backs of the scared flock ; and, following his example, we cleared the impediment, and found ourselves on the right side of a great obstacle to our pursuer, Ned Adams.
“ Now we're all right,” said Trimbush, exultingly ; " and we shall have it to ourselves in spite of 'em."
The long twisting and twining lane led on to an open heath or sheepwalk, covered here and there with patches of broom, furze, and dwarf blackberry bushes.
“We'll first try down wind to the right," said Trimbush ; " for although Will Sykes very often takes us just the other way, so as to make sure the varmint hasn't given the artful dodge by slipping back on his foil, it's a bad cast except with a beaten fox, and generally widens the distance between us and him. Always," continued the old hound, stooping his muzzle to the ground as he trotted cautiously along, “ try the way first you think he's gone ; and, having made that good, it's quite time enough to take the other.'
On coming to some sloping, moist ground, Trimbush stopped ; and, feathering for a moment, threw up his head and made the air ring with melody as he hit off the scent again.
“We are all right,” said he, exultingly. “We'll either kill or burst him to earth.”