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salts" who have broken down their voices outbawling "norwesters." The volubility of the dogs soon inflamed the imaginations of the horses, and they bowed their necks, flashed their eyes, and in one or two instances extemporized a dance that would have been applauded in a country circus. The equestrians, meantime, were not silent or idle. Girths, bridlebits, and saddles were carefully examined; the hunters then one after another mounted, and soon formed in the road a splendid cavaleade.
Unaccustomed at that time to much saddle exercise, it was with some feelings of anxiety that we, by the polite attentions of a negro boy who held our stirrup, mounted a tall lithe steed, whose form was only familiar to us among the engravings of the "Derby winners"—which steed, by-the-way, it was claimed had a well-authenticated pedigree, reaching back to theGodolphin Arabian, and who was of course from family pride bound to be in the thickest of the fray, and up to all and singular break-neck performances. Our "seat," however, at the moment was most agreeable, and with proper philosophy we determined to wait the events of the future. As we passed out of the inclosure a daughter of our host—a gay, lively lady, scarcely sixteen— suddenly made her appearance splendidly mounted on a white horse, and kindly announced that we were destined for her escort—a fact that filled us with an immense amount of pleasure, first, Vol. XXIII.—No. 138.—3B
that we should have such unexceptionable company, and, last, that it was possible our steed (which by this time had commenced dancing with impatience, and seemed at times on the point of leaving the earth altogether) would not be called upon by rough riding to do any especial credit to his distinguished progenitors.
The morning was fresh and bracing, and once fairly under way the sun broke cheerily through the light floating mists, assuring us of a goodly day. At every advancing step hounds, horses, and riders became more and more animated: the first named were continually reproved by their keepers for undue levity; the impatience of the steeds was restrained by gently bearing on the rein; while the bipeds engaged in animated conversation, which occasionally awakened echoes by creating hearty and oft-repeated laughter.
Our course soon took us from the well-beaten road into the dense forest, which being threaded a while, we finally reached an "old ficld" full of admirable "brier patches," fallen timber, ravines, and other favorite resorts of game. The dogs now commenced earnestly their work; they wormed themselves into the tangled vegetation; invaded the holes and hollows, and every few moments uttering cries which indicated the nearness to game, the hunters either looking on as quiet spectators, or dashing in among the dogs, giving those idly disposed a touch of the whip. and encouraging the industrious with animated cheers.
Our fair companion, who had by this time become intensely interested in the proceedings, finally turned and remarked, "I am sure there has been a fox started;" and the next instant several of the hounds opened in a united exultation. "That's Pet; that's Rashly," said the young lady, clearly noticing distinctions of voice in the general clamor, and whirling her delicate riding-whip in the air as a sign of acknowledgment. The less enthusiastic dogs soon feeling that it was safe to join in, took up the cry. The scent evidently was warm, for the fox was soon run from his lair, and started off, the result of which was that, in a few moments, the surrounding woods, so recently in a humming repose, now rang and vibrated with soul-stirring notes. Our horses, some of whom had become covered with foam from impatience, encouraged by the involuntary whoop of their riders, now dashed in, their splendidly groomed sides flashing in the sun, as if their coats were composed of bronze and satin. The undergrowth was still wet with dew, and Reynard, delicate about wetting his brush, flew first to the open grounds, presenting the hunt to view streaming over the landscape. The dogs, now fairly engaged, attuned their notes with the skill of nature's orchestral arrangements, pouring them out with a rich effulg nee that harmonized with and vibrated in
the forest depths, and rolled back in rich cadences from the broken lands, they dying away in the distance as softened and dreamy as the notes of the .Eoli.ni harp.
Reynard, hard pressed, now buried himself in the dense forest; and hard riders, with strangi impunity, flew through the tangled openings between the trees, safely leaped yawning ravinesand dashed on. Others stationed themselves in favorable places, and watched the chase as i; passed from time to time in review, and if opportunity occurred gave the pack a cheer of encouragement as they now, like maddened fiends, sweep on their way. The country, fortunately, was not only favorable for the hunt but for the view; the broken ground ran out into the swaml in a long spur, which we the spectators occupiedthe hunt sometimes being on the edge, and sometimes passing in review almost at our feet. Reynard, who seemed all the while to be under thi impression that nothing serious was intended, for some half hour amused himself with coursing hither and thither among the switch cane and i briers, crossing and recrossing his track, climbing from one sheltering ravine to another, apparently determined not to leave the comfortable quarters he had selected for his retreat. It nov became evident that the dogs every moment were closing in on their victim; in fact, the fox must often have been visible to their eyes; but it w: not these organs, but the keen scent on the trail. which led them so unerringly to the completion of their work. The fox at last felt the necessity of a run for his life, for he mounted the bluff, stopped a moment to breathe the fresh air, and chose his course across the country. The dogs had now gathered in a solid group, and were running with the precision of machinery. In a few moments they crossed the old field, and lost themselves in the blue distance. One or two hunters now came to where we were stationed, and suggested that we should cross the course taken by the fox; and with this idea we started off, a fine horseman in the lead. On we dashed, on pleasantly and swiftly, our fair lady companion gracefully flying over the obstructions in the way of her horse's feet, her face flushed with the excitement of health, and her eyes glowing with unusual beauty and intelligence. It was no trifling matter for me, unaccustomed to such associations and pursuits, to be assured, as we sped along, that we were not to meet with a fox-hunter's death; for at times we fairly flew through the air; but ahead, calm and joyous, rode our fair companion.
We soon came in hearing distance of the dogs, and reining up, the pack, in full cry, passed a little to the left of our course, and in a moment more they dashed by with lightning speed. As they descended from the high ground to where we had stationed ourselves to see them pass, we looked
at them in full front, and their wide-extended mouths, their long pendent tongues, misty breath, and strangely-flashing eyes, suggested that they had, by the magic of the chase, been changed from their natural character into flaming ficnds. Fearful and courageous as they looked, poor Reynard, whose brush was somewhat lowered, seemed more distressed than he really was by contrast. My fair companion now gave me many hints which were valuable to my inexperience, and with particular animation informed me that "Fanny" and "Rashly" were still in the van, and that she knew they would be first to seize the fox. The struggle that folIlowed was short. The fox once more left the open ground, but the dense forest only served to impede his progress, not to protect him. Ou: j purty of observation now galloped toward the 'point which was destined to witness the termination of the hunt, and ere we reached it Reynard had yielded up his life. The dogs and horses, a few moments before so active, were now standing with nostrils widely opened for breath, their sides heaving, and theirbodiee covered with foam. The hunters, however, were, if possible, gayer than ever, all talking together, and all relating some extraordinary incident connected with the chase. Our fair Diana was gallantly awarded the brush, the end of which she playfully rubbed across the eves of her favorite steed, and then handed it to a young gallant who had distinguished himself by his fearless riding. A few words of acknowledgment passed, and the two, accompanied by an old servant, bade us adieu and started homeward, leaving the hunters to the enjoyment of the more boisterous humors of the day.
Our noble host, accomplished in every thing pertaining to his office, had judiciously followed our party with a carefully selected commissariat, which was now located under the wide-spreading branches of a magnificent water-oak, the generous arms of which would have afforded shelter to a regiment of men. Near by gurgled a cool spring, which was considered, we are compelled to say, more useful to cool the wine in than any other purpose; and thus situated we prepared for a forest meal, our appetites and our wits sharpened by exercise and the open air.
To say that we enjoyed the prevailing excitement would be an inexpressive term. There was something positively exhilarating in the sensations constantly created by the novelty of our position. As the dinner was in course of preparation, among other things the hounds, now comparatively quiescent, attracted not only from us, but older and more familiar admirers, a due share of praise and critical observation. Among them we noticed every possible variety of attitude, and a rich fund of speculation was suggested in the exhibition of the various characteristics—for dogs differ in tastes and dispositions as much as the same number of human beings. Pythagoras might possibly have conceived his romantic philosophy of the transmigration of souls by observing the conduct of a pack of hounds. With this idea it did not take us long to decide that an old gray-nosed, scalpfurrowed dog sitting moodily by himself possessed the departed spirit of an old Indian warrior. He certainly possessed the dignity of a sachem, and the furrows about his eyes and mouth gave evidence of a world of hard thinking. In vain impertinent mosquitoes and evil-minded yellow jackets insulted his nostrils: a scareely pereeptible flap of his ear is all the notice he deigns to take, considering the many troubles he has passed through, of such petty annoyances. Look at his benevolent eye as he watches the wantonness of some young hound that is wasting his strength in endeavoring to make up an exciting race with "Frivolous Feather," or provoke a wrestle with another puppy about his own age. In the shade of the old magnolia yonder, in an uneasy attitnde, is "Triton." He was thus named, I was told by a classical friend at my elbow, on account of his musical note. He is a fine animal, but unintellectual and ill-natured; foremost in the van his trumpet tongue rings merrily; but he seems to pursue the game with malicious intent, and as the alarmed foe flies before him, he rejoices over the warm scent that promises a death-gripe on the victim's throat. "Triton," in fact, never is other than vicious; but when his work is done, unexcited and cool as a butcher, ho surveys his work with eyes as expression- Iless as lead, though the foreshadowed snarl about
his lip illy conceals his teeth. His ancestors, we were informed, came from Cuba. Approach him with kind words and he sneaks away: having performed his duty he prefers to be alone. How unlike is that beautiful creature "Fauny,'' already alluded to in the notice of the chase. She is all life and animation, kind and companionable with all. In the sociality of her disposition she thrusts herself delicately upon your notice, and a kind word seems absolutely to inspire her with gratitude. Her mischief, too, was paramount; for while we watched her she roused the soul of "Triton" to anger by her pranks, and when he dashed at her she would leap for safety among the group of hunters. Among the outer circle of dogs we observed one rejoicing under the name of "Terror." Indian fashion, he was christened after he had showed his character. He was the bully and rowdy among his kind. He only keeps well up in running; but when the game is to be seized then he puts forth all his strength, gets the first bite, and at the conclusion, if not immediately interfered with, will whip off the surrounding dogs, and alone take charge of the game.
Dinner was finally announced, and reposing Oriental fashion on the soft carpet of grass, or by arranging a first-rate seat with a propped-up saddle, we partook of the various viands, prominent among which were cold chicken and dainty ham sandwiches, most artistically tempered by exquisite claret and sparkling Champagne. Commend us, indeed, to a rural feast with the fox-hunters, particularly if we desire a reminiscence from which to date common events of passing life. The substantial part of the meal discussed, there followed a lively and characteristic gossip, that was as sparkling as the wine. Among the many good things we heard that day, most of which were greatly dependent upon the manner of their relation for half their merit, we presume to give the
STORY OF THE IMPERTCRBABLE WITNESS.
"Some years ago," said our narrator, who had a very twinkling eye, and durable red color on the end of his nose, "some legal business caused me to sojourn for a few days in a little neighboring town, which, though now boasting of a numerous population, was at the time of which I speak possessed of but little more than a rude court-house, a tavern, and blacksmith shop. The only active life the place ever witnessed was at 'court term,'and our reminiscences even at this moment are vivid that we found our time any thing but heavy on our hands. The judge who presided upon the bench was a man of superior character; familiar with the world and with the members of the bar; altogether superior to the rude surroundings with which they were associated: the contrast, therefore, between the members of the profession and the permanent residents in the vicinity was necessarily very striking.
"At the time of which I speak, a man by the name of Parker, one of the local dignitaries. had been sued upon an open account which he denied owing, and it rested upon the plaintiff, Glass, to prove the indebtedness.
"A queer sort of genius named Brimlon, who made a precarious living by hunting and doing odd jobs as occasion required, was subpenaed by Glass as his witness.
"The proceedings of the Court were conducted, as might be supposed, in rather a familiar way; the judge, though a man of great natural firmness, was very little disposed to be very exacting in his demands upon the enforcement of mere forms, and so long as no legal principle was invaded and his dinner hour not interfered with by business, every thing was as cozy and comfortable as possible.
"After a day of more than usual excitement, when there had really been something before the Court which called forth legal acumen in the pleadings, having put the judge up to his metal; in other words, after a hard day's work had been performed, and judge, lawyers, attending jurymen, and witnesses had really become fatigued and hungry, as the judge was on the point of ordering an adjournment of the Court, the landlord of the tavern having openly announced in court that a dinner of fat venison was on the table, at the particular moment Mr. Sharp, Glass's lawyer, rose and said:
"' May it please your Honor, my client, Mr. Glass, wishes to prove an account. The only witness in the case is present, if the Court please to hear the testimony, which will but consume a moment.'
"The judge, impatient as he was for the dinner, hesitated for a moment, and cousented. The case was called, 'Glass vs. Parker;' the witness Brimlon was put on the stand, the lawyers and spectators stood around hats in hand; the judge in the act of leaving the Court had aetnally put on his hat, and removed it to hear the testimony which would only 'take a moment.'
"Brimlon, meantime, was duly sworn, and asked in a familiar way what he knew about the disputed account; but instead of promptly answering he stood still, looked severely and reprovingly at the spectators who were bustling about, and finally, by staring all present into silence, the judge absolutely settling back in his chair as if suddenly impressed with the idea that he too must be profoundly attentive. This having been accomplished, Brimlon commenced as follows:
11 ' It was a beautiful evening—T shall never forget that eveniDg. The sun was setting in the west, where there was a very curious cloud, funnel-shaped, with a large head to it, and then sort o' coming down to a Icttle eend—it was, in fact, a rail beautiful evening—'
"When the witness had proceeded thus far, the counsel for the defense, much to the gratification of all present, pettishly exclaimed,
"' Mr. Brimlon, we do not wish to know any thing about the "beautiful evening" or any thing of the sort; please tell us what you know about this account'—at the same time rudely shoving Parker's bill into the witness's face. At
this gross breach of decorum on the part of the lawyer Brimlon showed no resentment, but after remaining silent a minute or more, with increased impressiveness he began:
u ' It was a beautiful evening—I shall never forget that evening. The sun was setting in the west, where there was a very curious cloud, funnel-shaped, with a large head to it, and then sort o' coming down to a lettle eend—it was. In fact, a rail beautiful evening, and I thought I mought as well go a huntin', so says I, "Boss"—you know Boss: he is a short-tailed dog with crop ears, and as good a dog as any in the country—so having called up Boss, and found he was all right, I got down my gun (it's about thirty inches in the bar'l), and thought I'd ile the locks, though they work like hair-tiggers; so I iled tho lock* and started for the stubble-field, owned by old Squire Tollman—'
"By this time the symptoms of impatience on the part of the by-standers were openly expressed, and Glass's lawyer, no longer able to restrain himself at the prolixity of his own witness, jumped on his feet and begged the judge to order Brimlon to give a more direct answer to a simple question. The judge thereupon nodded hi? head to the imperturbable Brimlon, who, having stopped the moment he was interrupted until perfect silence was obtained, began:
u * It was a beautiful evening—I shall never forget that evening. The sun was setting in the west, where there was a very curious cloud, funnel-shaped, with a large head to it, and then sort o' coming down to a lettle eend—it was, in fact, a rail beautiful evening, and I thought 1 mought as well go a huntin', so says I, u Boss"—you know Boss; he is a short-tailed dog with crop ears, and as good a dog as any in the country—so having called up Boss, and found he was all right, I got down my gun (it's al>out thirty inches in the bar'l), and thought I'd ile the locks. though they work like hair-tiggers; so I iled the locks and started for the stubble-field, owned by old Squire Todman —the one he was going to build the gin-house on, but didn't—well, after walking 'bout a while, with Boss jest s little ahead, his ears forward, and his tail (what's left of it i a waggin', what should I do but tumble over by catching my foot in some long grass, which acted like a shin hopple —but 'twas no use, and I was going to give up the hunt, when I seed ahead a partridge, just beyond a stump, t pluming himself in the old dry ravine that takes acro^ the road—whereat says I—1
"At this moment the landlord rushed into the court-room and announced that the venison was getting cold (it was a December day), and wanted to know, 'if the Court wouldn't adjourn soon, if he hadn't better put the saddle down by the fire.' At this interruption Brimlon again stopped, rolled his large vacant eyes over on the landlord, and after the restoration of a fearful silence proceeded:
'4 ' It was a beautiful evening—I Bhall never forget that evening. The sun was setting in the west, where there was a very curious cloud, funnel-shaped, with a large head to it, and then sort o' coming down to a lettle eend—it was, in fact, a rail beautiful evening, and I thought } mought as well go a huntin', so says 1,11 Boss"—you know Boss; he is a short-tailed dog with crop ears, and as good a dog as any in the conntry—so having called up Bo6s. and found he was all right, I got down my gun (it's about thirty inches in the bar'l), and thought I'd He the locks. though they work like hair-tiggers; 6o I iled the lockand started for the stubble-field, owned by old Squire Todman—tho one he was going to build the gin-house on, but didn't—well, after walking 'bout a while, with Boss jest r. little ahead, his ears forward, and his tail (what's left of it) a waegin', what should I do but tumble over by catching my foot in some, long grass, which acted like a shin