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being riveted to the hounds, which he was frequently heard to cheer. Although forty-one years ago, I have a good recollection of his face, and still better of his person, his grey locks more than peeping from under his black cap, and his keen—aye, piercing eye; I remember also that he sat rather on one side on his saddle, as if he had one stirrup shorter than the other, and was without spurs, but kept kicking his horse's sides with his heels, not at all afraid of going the pace over all kinds of ground. His appearance was extremely sportsmanlike.”

Mr. Delmè Radcliffe tells us more about Mr. Meynell than anybody else does, but he does not get to the_fountain head of birth, education, and entering to the chase. Mr. Radcliffe's information is derived from the late Mr. Loraine Smith, who, as I said before, was an intimate friend of Mr. Meynell's; but Mr. Smith's early information or recollections seem to have been imperfect.

Mr. Davis, in his “ Hunters’ Annual,” has a picture of the Melton Hunt, then under the mastership of Mr. Errington, in the accompanying letter-press to which he commences the hunt with Mr. Meynell, who, he says, purchased Quorndon Hall “about the middle of the last century, and established a hunt which, for nearly fifty years, he conducted in a style of magnificence beyond all praise."

Mr. Radcliffe says, Mr. Meynell was designated by his admiring friends as “The King of Sportsmen "_"The Hunting Jupiter. “He had earned these titles by the success of his practice-by the sport which he had shown; but, without an acre of land of his own in Leicestershire (the whole of his extensive estates being situated in remoter counties), he could not have carried on the war, as a stranger, in the heart of the very best hunting country in the world, had not his conduct, from the commencement to the close of his career, been characterized by the deportment which distinguishes the thoroughbred English gentleman. He was, indeed, as much the répandu of the élite of Grosvenor-square

- as much at home at St. James's as he was at Quorndon or at Ashley pastures.

"The evil that men do lives after them,

The good is oft interred with their bones.' But with reference to this great professor of the science which he adorned, it has been universally allowed by all who knew him, that he was one of the most agreeable and accomplished of men, and that he was most justly estimable in all the relations of social life.”

“It is much to be regretted," continues Mr. Radcliffe, “that none of his cotemporaries should have thought fit to compile and publish the memoirs of one who

• Lived not for an age, but for all time,' seeing that they could not have failed in exciting that interest which they must possess for all sportsmen.”

I quite agree with Mr. Radcliffe in this regret.

From a passage in Col. Cook's “Observations on Fox Hunting," we should be inclined to suppose that Mr. Meynell did not give up hounds on retiring from Leicestershire:—“The late Mr. Meynell,”

says the Colonel (so long the celebrated master of the Quordon hounds), “never cared about the size of a hound. The last time I was at his kennel, in Derbyshire, the dog hounds were powerful; the bitches small, but very clever, and possessing plenty of bone. When I say small, I would have it understood that small in height is meant; for, as a very excellent sportsman observes, when speaking of a hunter-'the height of a horse, sir, has nothing to do with the size of him."" Still we learn from others that Mr. Meynell, like Mr. Warde, was an admirer of large hounds, though he thought small ones were generally the stoutest, soundest, and most killing. John Warde's hounds, now Mr. Horlock's, were the largest I ever saw; big, broad-headed, bony animals. Colonel Cook gives the following sketch of Mr. Meynell :--

A veteran sportsman,” says he, “ a friend of mine, well known in the sporting world, who for many years was intimate with the late Mr. Meynell, and who hunted in Leicestershire nearly the whole of the time that great fox-hunter kept his hounds there" (here again the Colonel would seem to insinuate that Mr. Meynell hunted some other country besides Leicestershire); "and as no man now living, with the exception of Mr. Loraine Smith, can be better informed, or give so correct an account of everything that relates to this inimitable sportsman, I have inserted, verbatim, a few anecdotes which my friend has been so kind as to send me, thinking they may be interesting to a young beginner. He commences his letter by informing me that he spent twenty years of the most pleasing apprenticeship to the late Mr. M., whom he speaks of as the ‘Primate of Science,' and declares his equal never was, and he is inclined to think never will be. The life of Mr. Meynell was spent in contemplating the characters of all and every animal and thing that came under his observation. His first object was to ascertain the probable cause that produced the various effects in man, animals, &c., such as perfection, defects, and propensities; hence he had an analysis of most things which he had to encounter. His perception was so quick, and his judgment so strong, that he seldom erred in his decisions; and thus through the whole of his kennel he could discover and fully explain the distinct character of every hound. To their health, condition, legs, and feet, he was particularly attentive, and watched them with strict attention, as he found, by experience, that a defect in any one of them made a material alteration in their performances in the field-observing drily, that you could not play upon an instrument out of tune. Perfect legs and feet, with tolerable symmetry, were his great objects to begin with; he was partial to large hounds, but he never drafted a small one that he liked, which made his pack less sightly than was generally admired; but, as he built all his foundation of merit upon power, he was less anxious as to appearances. In the latter years of his life he always saw the pack drawn out for hunting; and, on his return in the evening, he generally (even if he had company) went to see them fed before his dinner. He observed how necessary it was in man to guard against propensities ; and, although too much refinement was dangerous, he was often obliged to make sacrifices to it. Yet to him there was no real pleasure with

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out it. Such sentiments could only emanate from a superior and refined understanding. Mr. Meynell was a second son. His father having disinherited his elder brother, he came into a fine estate at an early age, and soon had the good sense to discover that he had not made the best use of his education to qualify him for the proper enjoyment of fortune; and he immediately engaged a clergyman, a Mr. C, as his tutor and companion, and studied diligently under him two or three years. This speaks volumes! I remember Mr. Meynell first setting out with a pack of hounds to hunt fox, and often met him in Staffordshire hunting them himself; he was then, according to my recollection, the worst sportsman and wildest huntsman that I ever saw out with hounds. That wildness he socn restrained to proper eagerness, keeping in bounds the finest spirits and energy that perhaps man ever possessed. His voice and articulation were delightfully harmonious and energetic, his view-halloo thrilled every one near him, and his language was too pertinent to be misunderstood. His indignation in the field was sometimes excessive; frequently expressed by looks, sometimes by deputies; but when by words, he seldom or ever degenerated to rudeness. After rebuking a man once or twice, he would tell him he was incorrigible, and it was of no use to admonish him. He complained of having to find fault with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, for disgorging annually such a parcel of fools to torment him; to whom, if they attempted a vindication of their riding, or being troublesome, he would courteously reply, “You may be perfectly right, gentlemen, and I may be wrong; but there is gross ignorance on one side or the other.' As a zealous and steady friend and a sportsman, Mr. Meynell's memory will ever rank with the highest characters on record ; he was a man to whom I feel much indebted for his friendship, and the benefits I derived from his experience. His life was replete with anecdote in the field and in society, some of which do not exactly appertain to fox-hunting.'

Another friend of Mr. Meynell's, the late Mr. Hawkes, published a small pamphlet for private distribution, called the “Meynellian Science, or Fox-Hunting upon System,” some of the precepts in which have since been called in question; for instance, entering young hounds to hare in the spring. Beckford, indeed, reprobates this, and says, entering them to a trail-scent “ is less bad than entering them at hure." Still Mr. Beckford had a high opinion of Mr. Meynell and his pack, and in one of his letters to his friend, says: “You say you wish to see your pack as complete as Mr. Meynell's: believe me my good friend, unless you were to breed as many hounds, it is totally impossible. Those who breed the greatest number of hounds have a right to expect the best pack; at least it must be their own fault if they have it not."

But to Mr. Hawkes. “Mr. Meynell's idea of perfection in hounds in chace," says our author, « consisted in their being true guiders in hard running, and close and patient hunters in a cold scent, together with stoutness: over-running the scent and babbling were considered their greatest faults. Mr. Meynell prided himself on the steadiness of his hounds, and

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their hunting through sheep and hares, which they did in a very superior manner. We seldom or never attempted to lift his hounds through sheep; and from habit, and the great flocks the hounds were accustomed to, they carried the scent on most correctly and expeditiously much sooner than any lifting could accomplish.”

Colonel Cook relates a inost extraordinary instance of discipline displayed by Mr. Meynell's hounds. They were thrown into a small gorse on the side of a hill in the Market Harborough country; some of the hounds feathered as they went in, and found instantly. The covert being only about two acres, and open, Mr. Meynell immediately saw the fox was in danger of being chopped; he therefore called to Jack Raven, the huntsman,“ Jack, take the hounds away!" and at one of his usual rates, every hound stopped, and the pack were taken to the hedge side, when Mr. Meynell called out three steadly hounds, and threw them into the covert. The fox was so loth to break, that the three hounds kept hunting him for ten minutes, in hearing of all the pack, who lay perfectly quiet at Raven's horse's feet, till the fox went away over the finest part of the country; and the moment Mr. Meynell gave his most energetic, thrilling halloo, every hound flew to him; the burst was the finest that any sportsman ever yet beheld, and, after an hour and ten minutes, they killed their fox."

Mr. Hawkes says, Mr. Meynell's halloo “thrilled through the heart and nerve of every hearer.”

Some people imagine that dividing hounds to make a cast, part going one way with the huntsman, the rest going in a different direction with the first whip, is a feat of modern introduction; but Mr. Hawkes says it was practised in Mr. Meynell's time. When his hounds came to a check, every encouragement was given to them to recover the scent, without the huntsman getting amongst them, or whippers-in driving them about, which is the common practice of most packs. Mr. Meynell's hounds were hallooed back to the place where they brought the scent, and encouraged to try round in their own way, which they generally did successfully, avoiding the time lost in casting at the heels of the huntsman. When the hounds were cast, it was in two or three different lots, by Mr. Meynell, his huntsman, and whipper-in; and not driven together in a body like a

In talking, however, of this—indeed of Mr. Meynell's system altogether—it is necessary to remember the fine open grazing district

so different to the divided and sub-divided land of the present day; as also the absence of large crowds pressing on his hounds. Getting hounds into two or three lots is no easy matter in enclosed countries, with jealous riders all among them. Mr. Meynell and Leicestershire, it is true, had the élite of the hunting world of that day, but for one man who hunted then, there are at least twenty now.' Mr. Meynell only hunted three days a week, and

on an average, about five-and-thirty brace of foxes. During occupation of the country, finding himself short of foxes, he removed his hounds for three years to Huntingtonshire and Cambridgeshire, hunting the countries now occupied by Lord Fitzwilliam

flock of sheep:

he hunted,

killed, his

and the Gransden hounds. Mr. Hawkes says, Mr. Meynell was more indifferent about blood than the generality of masters of hounds. “ The wildest packs of hounds,” said he, “were known to kill the most foxes in covert, but very seldom showed good runs over a country. Murdering foxes is a most absurd prodigality. Seasoned foxes are as necessary to sport as experienced hounds.” “To obtain a good run,” says Mr. Hawkes, “hounds should not only have good abilities, but they should be experienced, and well acquainted with each other. To guide a scent well over a country for a length of time, and through all the difficulties usually encountered, requires the best and most experienced abilities. A faulty hound, or injudicious rider, by one improper step, may defeat the most promising run."

I have thus, in a cursory manner, thrown together all the particulars to be gleaned from writers of this great parent sportsman. Their accounts may possibly be tinged with the partiality of friendship, but no one can read them without feeling that Mr. Meynell was a sportsman of the first order, not excelled by any of the numerous race later years have called into existence; and I question whether his hounds were not as good as any of the present day, with all the advantages of science and the tenfold extended field for choice observation and breeding, that masters now have. The man whom Beckford honoured will beam a meteor in all ages.




The two months of March and April last have been more than commonly uncongenial for the purposes of the fly, and many a creel has been borne fruitlessly many a weary mile on the back of the desponding Piscator, without containing a single token of success to bless the burden. Fine water and cold winds are the elements against which he has had to contend; though his line fall never so delicately, or his fly never so softly on the surface of the stream, not a trout will move. Though he fish “fine and far off," and his feathers vie in neatness and colour with the living insect, still is he foiled; the skill and experience of his life go for nothing. Hope, however—that relic and gem of Pandora's box-buoys him up, and day after day he perseveres in his vocation, till at length, after a weary waiting, Favonius springs up, favours him for a while, but again soon resigns the field to the blood-curdling Eolus, who delights in blighting Piscator's short-lived happiness.

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