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his remarkable enmity towards foxes; having destroyed more of those vermin in one year than it was thought the whole country could have produced. Indeed the knight does not scruple to own among his most intimate friends, that, in order to establish his reputation this way, he has secretly sent for great numbers of them out of other counties, which he used to turn loose about the country by night, that he might the better signalize himself in their destruction the next day. His hunting-horses were the finest and best managed in all these parts. His tenants are still full of the praises of a gray stone-horse that unhappily staked himself several years since, and was buried with great solemnity in the orchard.
“Sir Roger being at present too old for fox-hunting, to keep himself in action, has disposed of his beagles, and got a pack of stophounds. What these want in speed, he endeavours to make amends for by the deepness of their mouths and the variety of their notes, which are suited in such a manner to each other, that the whole cry makes up a complete concert. He is so nice in this particular, that a gentleman having made him a present of a very fine hound the other day, the knight returned it by the servant with a great many expressions of civility; but desired him to tell his master, that the dog he had sent was indeed a most excellent bass, but at present he only wanted a countertenor. Could I believe my friend had ever read Shakspere, I should certainly conclude he had taken the hint from Theseus in the • Midsummer Night's Dream :'
“My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn.' “Sir Roger is so keen at this sport, that he has been out almost every day since I came down; and upon the chaplain offering to lend me his easy pad, I was prevailed on yesterday morning to make one of the company. I was extremely pleased, as we rid along, to observe the general benevolence of all the neighbourhood towards my friend. The farmers' sons thought themselves happy if they could open a gate for the good old knight as he passed by; which he gene
rally requited with a nod or a smile, and a kind inquiry after their fathers or uncles.
“ After we had rid about a mile from home, we came upon a large heath, and the sportsmen began to beat. They had done so for some time, when, as I was at a little distance from the rest of the company, I saw a hare pop out from a small furze-brake almost under my horse's feet. I marked the way she took, which I endeavoured to make the company sensible of by extending my arm; but to no purpose, till Sir Roger, who knows that none of my extraordinary motions are insignificant, rode up to me and asked me, if puss was gone that way? Upon my answering yes, he immediately called in the dogs, and put them upon the scent.
As they were going on, I heard one of the country fellows muttering to his companion, “that 'twas a wonder they had not lost all their sport, for want of the silent gentleman's crying, stole away.'
“ This, with my aversion to leaping hedges, made me withdraw to a rising ground, from whence I could have the pleasure of the whole chase, without the fatigue of keeping in with the hounds. The hare immediately threw them above a mile behind her; but I was pleased to find, that instead of running straight forwards, or, in hunter's language, 'flying the country,' as I was afraid she might have done, she wheeled about, and described a sort of circle round the hill where I had taken my station, in such a manner as gave me a very distinct view of the sport. I could see her first pass by, and the dogs some time afterwards unravelling the whole track she had made, and following her through all her doubles. I was at the time delighted in observing that deference which the rest of the pack paid to each particular hound, according to the character he had acquired among them. If they were at fault, and an old hound of reputation opened but once, he was immediately followed by the whole cry; while a raw dog, or one who was a noted liar, might have yelped his heart out without being taken notice of.
“ The hare now, after having squatted two or three times, and been put up again as often, came still nearer to the place where she was at first started. The dogs pursued her, and these were followed by the jolly knight, who rode upon a white gelding, encompassed by his tenants and servants, and cheering his hounds with all the gaiety of five and twenty. One of the sportsmen rode up to me, and told me, that he was sure the chase was almost at an end, because the old dogs, which had hitherto lain behind, now headed the pack. The fellow was in the right. Our hare took a large field just under us, followed by the full cry in view. I must confess the brightness of the weather, the cheerfulness of everything around me, the chiding of the hounds, which was returned upon us in a double echo from two neighbouring hills, with the hallooing of the sportsmen, and the sounding of the horn, lifted my spirits into a most lively pleasure, which I freely in. dulged because I was sure it was innocent. If I was under any concern, it was on account of the poor hare, that was now quite spent, and almost within the reach of her enemies; when the huntsman getting forward, threw down his pole before the dogs. They were now within eight yards of that game which they had been pursuing for almost as many hours; yet on the signal before mentioned they all made a sudden stand, and though they continued opening as much as before, durst not once attempt to pass beyond the pole. At the same time Sir Roger rode forward, and alighting, took up the hare in his arms, which he soon after delivered up to one of his servants, with an order, if she could be kept alive, to let her go in his great orchard, where it seems he has several of these prisoners of war, who live together in a very comfortable captivity. I was highly pleased to see the discipline of the pack, and the good nature of the knight, who could not find in his heart to murder a creature that had given him so much diversion.
“ The walls of his great hall are covered with the horns of several kinds of deer that he has killed in the chace, which he thinks the most valuable furniture of his house, as they afford him frequent topics of discourse, and show that he has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall is a large otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the knight looks upon with great satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine years old when his dog killed him. A little room adjoining to the hall is a kind of arsenal filled with guns of several sizes and inventions, with which the knight has made great havoc in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. His stable-doors are patched with noses that belonged to foxes of the knight's own hunting down. Sir Roger showed me one of them, that for distinction's sake has a brass nail struck through it, which cost him about fifteen hours' riding, carried him through half a dozen counties, killed
him a brace of geldings, and lost above half his dogs. This the knight looks upon as one of the greatest exploits of his life.”
At the time when Addison described the race of fortune-telling gipsies for the edification of the London public, there were few travellers for amusement, and fewer who left the din and smoke of the town to wander through commons and green lanes, the gipsies' haunts. It is remarkable how little change is to be observed in the manners of the vagrant tribe. Addison's description might have been written yesterday.
“As I was yesterday riding out in the fields with my friend Sir Roger, we saw at a little distance from us a troop of gipsies. Upon the first discovery of them, my friend was in some doubt whether he should not exert the Justice of the Peace upon such a band of lawless vagrants; but not having his clerk with him, who is a necessary counsellor on these occasions, and fearing that his poultry might fare the worse for it, he let the thought drop: but at the same time gave me a particular account of the mischiefs they do in the country, in stealing people's goods and spoiling their servants. If a stray piece of linen hangs upon an hedge, says Sir Roger, they are sure to have it; if the hog loses his way in the field, it is ten to one but he becomes their prey; our geese cannot live in peace for them; if a man prosecutes them with severity, his hen-roost is sure to pay for it: they generally straggle into these parts about this time of the year; and set the heads of our servant-maids so agog for husbands, that we do not expect to have any
business done as it should be whilst they are in the country. I have an honest dairy-maid who crosses their hands with a piece of silver every summer, and never fails being promised the handsomest young fellow in the parish for her pains. Your friend the butler has been fool enough to be seduced by them, and, though he is sure to lose a knife, a fork, or a spoon, every time his fortune is told him, generally shuts himself up in the pantry with an old gipsy for above half an hour once in a twelvemonth. Sweethearts are the things they live upon, which they bestow very plentifully upon all those that apply themselves to them. You see now and then some handsome young jades among them: the sluts have very often white teeth and black eyes.
“Sir Roger observing that I listened with great attention to his account of a people who were so entirely new to me, told me, that if I
would, they should tell us our fortunes. As I was very well pleased with the knight's proposal, we rid up and communicated our hands to them. A Cassandra of the crew, after having examined my
very diligently, told me, that I loved a pretty maid in a corner,
with some other particulars which I do not think proper to relate. My friend Sir Roger alighted from his horse, and exposing his palm to two or three that stood by him, they crumpled it into all shapes, and diligently scanned every wrinkle that could be made in it; when one of them, who was older and more sun-burnt than the rest, told him, that he had a widow in his line of life: upon which the Knight cried, Go, go, you are an idle baggage; and at the same time smiled upon me. The gipsy, finding he was not displeased in his heart, told him, after a farther inquiry into his hand, that his true-love was constant, and that she should dream of him to-night: my old friend cried Pish, and bid her go on, The gipsy told him that he was a bachelor, but would not be so long; and that he was dearer to somebody than he thought: the knight still repeated, she was an idle baggage, and bid her go on. Ah, master, says the gipsy, that roguish leer of yours makes a pretty woman's heart ache: you have not that simper about the mouth for nothing. The uncouth gibberish with which all this was uttered, like the darkness of an oracle, made us the more attentive to it. To be short, the knight left the money with her that he had crossed her hand with, and got up again on his horse.
“As we were riding away, Sir Roger told me that he knew several sensible people who believed these gipsies now and then foretold very strange things; and for half an hour together appeared more jocund than ordinary. In the height of his good humour, meeting a common beggar upon the road, who was no conjurer, as he went to relieve him he found his pocket was picked: that being a kind of palmistry at which this race of vermin are very dexterous.”
The Spectator, No. 122, is wholly by Addison. We give it entire, as it contains many touches of his delicate humour, as well as a quaint view of bygone manners :
“ A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart; his next, to escape the censures of the world. If the last interferes with the former, it ought to be entirely neglected; but otherwise there cannot be a greater satisfaction to an honest mind than to see those approbations which it gives itself seconded by the