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manifestation of uneasiness and extreme watchfulness on the part of its victim, the foumart, like a skilful general, pauses and retreats. But that movement is only preparatory to a safer approach on the other side, especially if the wind blows in the proper direction. The foumart does not want to take up the scent of the hare, because she is there on her form; but, if possible, to throw her off her guard. Instances are known in which puss marking the approach, yet lying still,has prepared herself for the conflict, or by a stroke of her hind legs-the same as with the weasel-pitch the foumart to so great a distance that it has been stunned in the fall, but not defeated, and the attack has been renewed with more determination of purpose. The unfortunate victim is at length seized, and soon deprived of existence; and if not dragged home at once to the cuisine of the foumart, is made safe for a time in some secure nook, for a more favourable opportunity. It is rare that this midnight prowler returns without its booty, unless the night becomes suddenly stormy and tempestuous. But on ordinary occasions, if failing with regard to hares and rabbits, other victims are pursued with remarkable perseverance. The hen-pheasant and the hen-partridge on their nests are not only seized, but all the eggs devoured with insatiable avidity. It is in this way that so much destruction is accomplished; and in those instances where the keeper has expected the young broods to have left their nests, and become objects of his especial care and attention, he finds, to his own mortification, that the whole lot has been destroyed by the foumart, and induces him to vow vengeance against the whole tribe of vermin.
The stillness of midnight is favourable to the purpose of this merciless destroyer. At that solemn hour-more impressive in large woods than in the open, when the very darkness may be almost felt, and the dead silence is so awful, to a stranger at least, that he is fearful to draw his breath, while he glances around in a state of bewilderment, or when some sudden and unexpected noise startles him, as though it were the approach of something worse than a desperate poacher who "wont be taken," and whose "Stand off, or you're a dead man," sounds fearfully on the ear, and the "bang" of a distant gun from one of the party rings through the whole cover, and dies away at the furthest extremityat that solemn hour the foumart fears no keeper lying in ambush; no dog ranging under his own direction; no gun ready to despatch the messenger of death on its unerring mission; nothing, in fact, to check its progress or frustrate its purpose, except the steel-trap artfully baited and skilfully set at some suitable spot, and the calls of hunger, after several previous disappointments, throw off the night-prowler's usual custom and suspicion. In that case, the foumart becomes caught and killed, and adds another specimen to the museum of the keeper at the gable end of his dog-kennel, or some similar out-house, to attract the gaze of the passers-by, if not to warn the vermin fraternity of their inevitable fate.
THE PROPOSED EXHIBITION OF DOGS.
BY HARRY HIEOVER.
Much has been said and written on this subject; and of course, as in most cases where any new project is mooted, there are conflicting opinions as to its utility. It cannot, however, be held in any way as a new idea, seeing that we have scores of shows of dogs every week, and nearly every evening in the week, at different public-houses known as the resort of dog-fanciers.
It may very truly be said that such places are quite unfit for gentlemen to resort to; consequently they are virtually shut out from exhibitions that, under other circumstances, they would patronize. The idea, therefore, of forming exhibitions in places, and so controlled, that even ladies may gratify their curiosity or penchant for pugs, poodles, King Charles's spaniels, or the latterly-patronized Skye terrier, is a good one, and to be encouraged; but, then, the dogs exhibited must not be confined to such only as the sportsman appreciates, for it would be somewhat unseemly that a lady should be elbowed by a huntsman, whip, or gamekeeper, in the round of such persons to visit a foxhound or a pointer. I am not so absurd as to consider that any exhibition of ladies' favourites of the canine species can tend to any direct good purpose, or that the man who has by him a breed of the most choice of their kind is entitled to more merit than he who breeds or procures choice parrots. I admit that if only men inhabited the earth, I would set my face against any breed of dogs that were not useful in their several ways. I must (though enthusiastic in foxhunting as I have been) admit the sheep-dog to be to the full as useful as the foxhound or pointer-nay, more so; for he is directly useful in a way that benefits society; the other only indirectly does so, in promoting its amusement, Personally, I should not care if the whole breed of pet dogs were exterminated; but as, thank Heaven! we have those that are far dearer to us than ourselves to please, it would be selfishnay, brutal, not to encourage aught that contributes to their gratification. So let us have a show of pet dogs by all means. I should with submission vote that not only should dogs be classified and kept distinct, but that there should be a ladies' compartment, in which their favourites might be exposed; by this measure ladies would only be subject to half the crowd, and that principally of their own sex: and they would not be liable to hear remarks that, though proper enough among men, would be sadly out of place in the hearing of
Exhibitions of any natural product, animate or inanimate, most always tend to general benefit, as it shows us what is held as valuable, useful, or ornamental, by those who are competent judges of the objects exhibited; its merits are expatiated on, while, on the other hand, its drawbacks are pointed out: thus we in time become judges ourselves. The man who has attended prize cattle shows is not likely
afterwards to purchase bad stock, or to breed a bad sort; thus the lady, after attending exhibitions of her favourites, will not be subject to having any ugly long-legged animal with a snub nose palmed on her for a very handsome King Charles. I have used the term ugly ; for, though it is not to be supposed a lady would purchase an animal altogether ugly as an animal, she would be very likely to give a long price for one that would be held as ugly by a judge of pet animals. There can be nothing ugly in a dog having what is technically called white frill to his shirt;" but it is inadmissible in a King Charles of high price; the very hue of the tan on his legs and face is an item involving a great difference in value. I quite believe these little animals have more sporting propensities in them than we give them credit for possessing. The sportsman laughs at the idea of their being of any use in questing for pheasant, cock, or snipe; and, I believe, doubts their inclination to make the attempt. He would no doubt object to them, as Somerville did to diminutive beagles.
"The puny breed in every furrow swims."
Doubtless their small size would be against them in many situations: over large fallows, for instance. But, in answer to that, spaniels are not used in such situations. A very strong cover might bar their progress, so far as forcing their way through it; but against this there are interstices that these little gentlemen would slip through, or under, while the upper part would actually hold a Clumber spaniel, or any dog of his size. I can vouch for it, from what I have seen in several King Charles belonging to ladies living in the country, that they are indefatigable in hunting up game anywhere; are very fast-not merely fast for their size, but for any spaniel-and very lasting. But it is not to be expected that a pet dog, spending his time between lying on a sofa or his mistress's lap, can show any signs of trying to find, or even of knowing what game is; but if taught this, and also taught their work, I have reason to believe the King Charles, quoad his size, might hold up his head (notwithstanding his pug nose) in the catagory of our recognized sporting dogs.
I have no great faith in my individual opinion; consequently I found that in all cases on something tangible, state what that may be, and then leave persons to draw their own inferences on the statement.
My particular attention was first attracted to the little King Charles in a drive from Newcastle to Sunderland. The lady put down her pet to have a run. Instead of, as I expected, running by the side or after the carriage, the little animal took immediately to the very large enclosures each side of the road; and my astonishment was unmitigated on seeing the speed she exhibited : I do not believe the fastest pointer could have traversed the space in less time. As might be expected, from never having been in the slightest manner broke, she was not very choice as to what she chased; rooks, crows, larks, or sparrows-all came in alike as objects of pursuit. A rabbit did not escape her attention; she chased it till out of sight, when, as I suppose, wisely thinking the possible loss of a kind mistress of far greater consequence than the certain loss of a rabbit, she returned, and seeing us, went on with her indiscriminate pursuit. I thus saw that nose
was not wanting, for a dog that will hunt up a lark, which this dog evidently did; would equally quest for cock or pheasant. It is true that, like the hounds purchased and described by Beckford, who were represented to him as hunting anything, so did the spaniel; but those hounds and this spaniel only wanted to be taught the proper things to bunt, then each might be rendered serviceable. It is the dog that will hunt nothing, or, in better English, will not hunt at all, that is the hopeless case. Thus I saw that she possessed nose, speed, energy, and, by the great tract she ran over during our drive, I saw she possessed also lasting qualities of the highest order, and that 'not under favourable circumstances, for it was rarely she had an opportunity of exercising them. King Charles's spaniels rose fifty per cent. in my estimation from that day; and I doubt not many will be somewhat surprised at what I have set forth. I grant, the Blenheim to be of a far more sporting cut; but he wants ears. This is of course an advantage to him in cover; but it is a failing, in point of beauty, as a pet.
Poodles were at one time the rage as pet dogs, but seem now to have totally disappeared from this country. If it has arisen from men wisely determining to have no pets at all, I bow to the resolve; but even ranking poodles as such, they possess many claims to public patronage. The poodle, whether eight inches high or eighteen, is usually a remarkably well-shaped dog. His sagacity is proverbial: with a little instruction he would quest as well as any spaniel, and his qualities as a retriever are first-rate. As show-dogs they require trimming, and this to be done by an artist, amateur or professional; but were poodles still the fashion, clippers or trimmers would be as plentiful as (now are) shoe-blacks. Used as a sporting dog, of course trimming would not be wanted, for he has not a longer coat than any other retriever or water-dog; he is docile and obedient, at the same time possessing high courage in the pursuit of game, on land or in the water; in short, we are indebted to our continental neighbours for many things tending far less to sporting pursuits than did their poodles.
The Skye terrier, or sundry representations of him, has long been quite a furore. Thus, because a picked Skye was occasionally seen peeping out of Her Majesty's carriage, every female immediately, or as soon as she could, possessed herself of some little beast that could scarce see out of its eyes for hair, and with legs about on a par with the fins of a turtle, or more closely represented by the legs of a mole. The Skye has little to recommend him on the score of utility, we having long since found out that our spits are to be turned with far greater certainty than by the aid of a dog. I believe Skye terriers are as useful as any other kind of dog, in netting rabbits: they are not afraid of them, so will seize and hold one; but I doubt much, if bunny would show fight with mouth and claws, whether he would not carry the day; that though a Skye will face a rabbit, that he will not usually do so by a rat, I can vouch for.
An acquaintance of mine has one of these, and till lately he thought him a most varmint fellow, both in appearance and attributes. I gave the result of the little acquaintance I have had with the qualities of Skyes, but I was told I did them injustice. In a few days after, I
procured a rat, and tying a string to his hind-leg, put him in a bag and into my great-coat pocket; arriving at my friend's, I stated I had a test for the varmint Skye. I let him smell the rat through the bag, this produced a commotion in it on the part of the rat. Skye stared and looked up in my face, as much as to say, "What the d- have you got there?" I then produced my rat: Skye seemed to wish to ascertain this, by poking his nose close to the rat, and smelling him. No sooner did he do so, than he was seized on the lip. He never in turn attempted to make reprisals on the rat, but set up such a "pen an ink," "pen an ink," as perhaps only a distressed Skye could make; I laughing at my friend, who most unfairly in turn seized my poor rat with the tongs; and on his letting loose his hold, he threw him from the window, from which, after giving him a dose of prussic acid, I should have sent the Skye, had he belonged to me.
The Skyes are the veriest curs in existence; not so the Dandie Dinmont a native also of Scotland, but one possessing the usual attributes of his country, namely, cool and determined courage. He is a somewhat plain, not to say ugly dog in appearance; for the specimens you may be shown by dog dealers are generally no more Dandie Dinmonts than they are Newfoundlands. They are by no means ladies' dogs; so if they are shown a pretty little rough animal of some seven or eight pounds weight, they are crosses of God knows what, nor does it matter, if a good-looking little animal is wanted. The true Dandie Dinmont is a good moderate-sized dog, somewhat low, in consequence of his legs being short, but weighing from (say) eighteen to twenty-eight pounds; very strongly made, a somewhat large head, strong jaws, deep in the brisket, and strong in the shoulder; he is not a bad-tempered or snappish dog, but like Sandie himself, is nae to be trifled with. He does not, like many of his betters, merely show his teeth in terrorum, but lays hold; and when this is the case, ware badger, fox, or otter, into whom he has fastened his firm grip-no bad lesson to us lords of the creation.
We will now look to what are termed Newfoundland dogs. Very handsome, noble-looking animals, many of these are. Their fidelity is admitted and admired by all. Their courage is also lauded; but this is only shown under peculiar circumstances. They would leap into the sea from a vessel going ten knots an hour, to save their master, or indeed any "man overboard;" instinct, and perhaps attachment, will lead them to do this; it is not courage; for, to define courage, it is shown where real or fancied danger stares man or quadruped in the face: the Newfoundland faces no danger that appears as such to him; the water presents little, if any, more than the land; but let a cow chase him, he would run away with his tail between his legs till he got to a place of safety; all the hallooings of his master would not stop him, still less would any encouragement or "setting on" induce him to face that which he felt boded him harm. Again, it is brought forward really as an act of magnanimity, that he seldom or ever attacks a small cur; this merely arises from his not fearing so puny an object, consequently he has no inducement to attack him. It will be found, odd as the assertion may appear, fear is often the inducement to animals to attack: they hope by this to get rid of an antagonist they fear, without being driven to the necessity of entering