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PREFACE.

A PORTION of the sketches contained in the following pages will be recognised by the readers of “ The DONCASTER GAZETTE,” as having appeared in the columns of that paper, under the signature of MARTINGALE. From these, with the addition of some chapters, and the extension of others, the present volume has been formed.

Without touching on the practical details of sporting, which are so ably treated in Mr. Blaine’s excellent “EncyCLOPÆDIA OF RURAL Sports," the author has endeavoured to collect such scenes as his own opportunity and relish for field sports and country life have brought before him ; but he is fully sensible that to the interest which Mr. Thomas LANDSEER, Mr. Alken, and Mr. Dickes, as well as Mr. Branston, and Mr. ACKERMANN of Regent Street, who has obligingly allowed copies to be made from some oil paintings in his possession, have taken in the execution of the designs, he will be in no small degree indebted for any popularity these pages may acquire.

The author cannot omit to acknowledge his obligations to Mr. C. Hancock, for his permission to copy the vignette on the title-page from his portrait of Middleton, by Phantom, out of Web, bred by Lord JERSEY; foaled in 1822, and winner of the Derby in 1825 ; as well as to Mr. Davis, for the engraving from his portrait of the Ripley Deer.

The author also feels himself called upon to acknowledge the aid received in the article on Stag Hunting from an old master of staghounds; as well as from another gentleman, long in the habit of hunting with the Queen's hounds, who has been so good as to give him some highly interesting particulars of the Ripley Deer.

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