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device to get me into his hands : he had borrowed an old gun from one of the gang, who in winter time was looked upon as an unlicensed dealer in game, and loading it with a double charge of large shot, kept a most wonderful look-out. He had set wires and nets all around my domain, and during the night had placed vermin-traps in every direction ; nor was the imp satisfied alone with plotting murder, for he attempted arson, and having just before daylight ignited some dry stubble near my abode, waited, upon the principle of Filch in the “ Beggar's Opera," “ to save goods from the fire.” Happily, the machinations of my un. relenting foe were again frustrated by the sudden breaking-up of the gipsy camp: information had been received during the night that a warrant was out against one of the tribe, on suspicion of sheep-stealing ; and at a moment's notice the tents were struck, the waggons laden, and the horses and mules harnessed. Just as the cavalcade was about to proceed on its journey, young Jabez Cooper--50 the young urchin was called—was found to be missing.
“Poaching again!” said his mother--a woman of the Meg Merrilies class; “ he'll come to no good.”
“ The boy's a brave boy,” responded the father, “and I like his spirit! Instead of grovelling to the earth, satisfied with barn-door fowls and lambs, he soars at higher game, as those antlers prove ; but we must not leave him behind—why what is that I see? The plantation is on fire !”
“Ay, that's his handy work!" proceeded the matron ; “ you must look after the lad, for it won't do to desert him in the hour of danger.”
Upon this the agitated father rushed towards the paling that divided the enclosure from the common, and gave two loud shrill whistles, the signal of “ recall.” Like the magic horn in Oberon, the small ivory pipe produced an equally powerful and instantaneous effect, and Jabez Cooper, brought up under the kindest parent, yet sternest of disciplinarians, at once obeyed the summons, much to the delight of myself and others, who, to adopt a homely metaphor, were extremely averse from going out “ of the frying pan into the fire." The lad had made so admirable a disposition for this night-attack, that had he not been summoned away, the slaughter would have been immense : as it was, among the return of “killed, wounded, and taken prisoners" were four pheasants, three hares, and a couple of rabbits.
“ See, father,” said the juvenile poacher, “ I've brought my share to the stock! another half-hour, and I would have not left a living thing in yonder cover.”
But the flame will have attracted the keepers' attention,” remarked the parent, inwardly delighted at his son's precocious talents. · "Never fear, father,” responded the latter, “it's extinguished now. Besides, I deluded them away by firing the small stack a mile off in an opposite direction, and have left some straw and tobacco-pipes near my spot, so as to look as if two trampers had been harbouring there, and had accidentally caused the burning.”
As the boy had foretold, the keepers were taken off the riglat scent, and upon their return fully confirmed the prediction of the incendiary, The months of July and August passed tranquilly away, and it was not until September had set in, that any event occurred to disturb my peace of mind. Upon a fine sunoy morning during the harvest time, my at.
tention was attracted to about eighteen couple of small well-bred hounds, who were being exercised on the common. The huntsman and whipperin were dressed in Lincoln-green liveries ; and the thought immediately flashed across my mind that a pack of barriers had been added to the royal establishment : nor was I wrong in my conjecture-they were the newly-purchased property of the Prince Consort. This was a sad drawback to my happiness. I gave myself up to despair, and as the author of the "Fairie Queene" writes
“Long thus I cliawed the cud of inward grief.” At length time and the buoyant spirit of youth produced their due effect upon my sanguine temperament, and I turned over in my mind where the safest locality could be found in the neighbouring districts. Surrey, my own county, boasted of its annual coursing meetings on Epsom and Leatherhead Downs. Wiltshire was famed for its Deptford Inn and Amesbury Clubs ; Berkshire and Hampshire for the Ashdown Park, Letcombe, and High Clere meetings. Foxhounds and harriers too, were kept in the above counties : so, after considerable deliberation I decided upon remaining where I was, thinking it better to follow the sentiment of the mournful Prince of Denmark
" And bcar those ils we hare, Than fly to others that we know not of."
Among other distinguished residents who had taken up their temporary abode in the royal domain was a member of the Reynard family-one to wliom the Greek motto would apply “ Ouroc épi valɛ orng yépwv” (“A cunning old fox this”). But cunning as he was, like many others of thc same wily disposition, he quite outwitted himself. Having heard that to live within the precincts of Windsor Castle, St. James's, Buckingham, or Holyrood palaces would exempt the debtor from arrest, he foolishly fancied that Virginia Water, being the property of the Crown, would free him from a greater debt--that of nature, and that he might roam there unmolested. He was, however, speedily aroused from this state of hallucination, for having one night stole forth after his favourite prey-rabbits, he was so captivated with the “lapin au naturel,'' that he took up his quarters in a gorse adjoining the warren. Great then was the surprise of our vulpine hero upon the following morning to find a goodly party of Nimrods assembled within a short distance of his temporary abode. In a few seconds the hounds of a celebrated sporting favourite, who generally once a year was allowed to draw Windsor Park, were seen approaching. At the appointed hour a signal from the master, who had consulted his watch, was made, and answered by a “ Hie in there! good dogs !” from the huntsman. The willing hounds are soon lost in the covert. See how steadily they draw! no babbling is heard ; all are earnestly at work. “ Destiny has it !” exclaims the master. A halloo is heard. “Gone away!" shouts the whipper-in ; the canine chorus fills ; a crash, worthy of Balfe's orchestra, re-echoes through the woodlands, and the highly-trained pack, with heads up and sterns down, settle well to the scent. Poor Reynard having been sharply pressed in the onset, is what is inelegantly termed “blown,” or, as the more refined would call it, panted for breath-the effect, probably, of the gourmand's supper of the over-night. The wily animal is, therefore, after a “burst" of twenty minutes, obliged to have recourse to stratagem. He steels along a ditch, after crossing the track of a flock of sheep, and by this ineans causes a check. But the huntsman, whose keen eye has never been off his hounds, observes the way they had previously inclined, and holds them on (without casting) in the right direction. Again they wind him. Now it is from scent to view. It is a race for life. Pug makes for the covert: every hound is at his heels : Destiny, first in the find, is first at the death. The Coronach " Whoo-hoop !” is heard, and the pad, snout, and brush, are all that remain of my victimized neighbour. To me the whole scene was one of the greatest anxiety, for in the opening burst thc pack skirted a small plantation in which I was safely lodged ; but so admi. rably trained were the pursuers, that they heeded me not: horsemen and pedestrians, cager in the chace, added not a little to my panic ; and certainly nothing could tend more to realize in my person the truth of the saying, of being “as mad as a March hare," than the strong excitement I had undergonc.
A severc frost had now set in, and the ground was covered with snow. Hunting was put an end to, for the time; and my vulpine ncighbours were permitted to roam at large. With a natural desire for locomotion, I was in the habit of wandering across the heath, to a small plantation of evergreens, to luxuriate upon the ample fare it furnished. For a length of time my movements seemed unknown to mortal eye, and I was congratulating myself upon my security, when an occurrence happened that nearly proved fatal to me, and was attended withi danger to my pursuer. It was on a bright sunny morning, towards the end of the winter, that I was quictly proceeding to my favourite haunt, when the clattering noise of a horse, at full gallop on the hard frozen road, attracted my attention. Taking up a position under a tuft of high grass, whose blades were covered with rime, I got a good view of the mounted stranger. The youth (for he could scarcely have entered his fourteenth year) was decked out in the sporting gear of the day--a green cut-away coat, ornamented with the button of a celebrated racing club ; a drab korseymere waistcoat ; shawl neckcloth ; white leathers; and high polished boots, shining in all the brightness of Day and Martin. A huge pair of steel persuaders, and a hunting-whip, completed his equipment. The steed was a broken-down bit of blood-one of those unfortunate animals who are trained to run before (it may be almost said) they are able to walk, and who, by the time they have attained their third year, have not only been deserted by the “legs," but have scarcely one leg of their own left to stand upon. The animal, despite of his attenuated state, still showed high breeding, beauty, and a fine form : there might be traced the small aristocratic head ; the admirably proportioned neck; the broad, deep shoulder ; the long and straight quarters : the thighs were let down very low ; the hock distinct, far behind and from him, thence downward to the next joint-the limb was extremely short, and stood under like the leg of an ostrich; the pastern was long, lax, and bending ; the arm was well set on at the extreme point of the shoulder-bone; the coat, albeit not so glossy as it formerly had been, was of a dark chesnut hue, and shone in the morning sun ; the mane, although not so neatly plaited as it had once
appeared on Epsom Downs, was tolerably well combed and brushed. There are, however, spots and blemishes in almost every work of nature and art; and the young beauty was not exenipt from them. The eyes, once bright as those of the gazelle, and sparkling like the evening-star, were now sunk into the head ; the sight impaired; the hair a few inches above the knees, no longer sleek, could scarcely hide some recent scars; the crippled feet, too, at once proved that the “ high-mettled racer” had never undergone the efficacious treatment of that patrician “ infelicity” annihilator, Eisenlach ; if corn, however, flourished without, there was little symptom of any within, for a more perfect specimen of an anatomie rivant could not well be conceived. We do not mean to infer that the ostler stinted the animal of his food, although there was a report abroad that the pernicious spirit usually distilled from the juniper berry, and which the oat-stealer was strongly addicted to, was the produce of corn, beans, hay, and clover. Cannon-ball-for so the horse was named by his jocose master, who declared that “ nothing could ever stop him"--was one of those unfortunate animals yclept Eton hacks, and the youth who bestrode him belonged to that far-famed seat of learning. With an eye of a hawk, Fred Marston — the name is the coinage of the brain-had espied me in my crystallized palace, and had immediately stopped his fiery courser in his career. The sudden check had nearly proved fatal to the wooden pegs (for legs they could scarcely be called) of the ill-fated beast, who was only saved from a “header" by the prompt application of steel and a tight rein. To remain where I was would have been an act of unchained lunacy; and yet, by some unaccountable instinct, I felt disposed to exclaim, with the Volscian general, Tullus Aufidius-
“ If I fly, Marcius, halloo me like a hare!" A moment's deliberation decided my movements, and taking advantage of the panting steed, from which the rider had dismounted in order that he might recover his powers of respiration, I quitted my place of refuge, trusting to gaining the plantation within the paling ; but I had reckoned without my host ; for, before I had gained many yards, my pursuer was mounted, and in full chace after mc. The spow, although deep enough to impede my progress, did not interfere with that of the more weighty animal who at every stride neared nie. One hope was alone left me, and that seemed a forlorn one ; to remain in the open was, however, inevitable destruction, while a chance remained of my escaping by crossing a paddock that skirted a small coppice ; but even that path was attended with considerable danger, not alone from my pursuer, but also from a farmer, who, attracted by the shouts of the Etonian, had brought a sort of half-bred retriever to assist in the chase. A stiff post-and-rail, with a deep dry ditch on each side, divided the field from the heath ; so, on doubling short, I gained the enclosure : in a second an awful crash was heard, and looking behind me I saw a sight that harrowed my feelings-the noble animal was lying on his side in the agonies of death, while the rider, with the blood gushing from his nostrils upon the driven snow, appeared an inanimate corpse. In less time than I can take to record the sad catastrophe, assistance was procured, and poor Fred Marston was conveyed to the neighbouring farmhouse : there, by the judicious assistance of an elderly female, who was learned
in herbs and pharmacy, the intrepid horseman was soon restored to animation : not so his gallant steed, whose limbs failing him as he charged the almost impracticable place, had fallen and broken bis back ; his sufferings were speedily put an end to by a friendly bullet, while I, who was the indirect cause of the accident, escaped scot free.
(To be continued.)
Winner Of Tue Oaks, 1851.
Iris, bred by her owner, the present Earl of Derby, in 1848, was got by Ithuriel, out of Miss Bowe, by Catton, her dam (Tranby's dam) by Orville, – Miss Grimstone, by Weazlc, - Ancaster, Damascus Arabian.
Ithuriel, bred by Lord Derby, is by Touchstone, out of Verbena (also Uriel's dam), by Velocipede. He was a good racehorse at two and three years old ; and for some time a leading favourite for the St. Leger. A leg, however, gave way, and he was turned over to the stud. Like Orlando, the sire of the Derby winner of this season, Ithuriel has had but a short trial here ; though with Azeth, Flash, and Pirouette, in addition to the Oaks mare, already proclaiming his merits.
Miss Bowe, bred by Mr. Townroe in 1834, after only a moderate career on the Turf, was put to the stud in 1839. She is the dam of Bowstring, Archery, Crossbow, Strongbow, and others, all bred by Lord Derby, into whose possession the mare passed soon after she came out.
Iris is a reddish chesnut mare, standing sixteen hands high. She has rather a coarse head, but with long ears and an expressive eye; she has a light neck and splendid shoulder ; is very deep in the girth, but a little flat sided ; has rather ragged hips, with quarters very good from hip to the round bone. Her hocks are good, and arms fair sized ; though she is somewhat short and light in her thighs, as well as rather small in the bone below the knee. Iris has a white heel (near side) as well as a blaze in her face ; with a tail (a little on the curl) that she carries well away from her. The Caks winner is altogether a strong, powerful, but by no means handsome filly, of very high courage; though not of the most amiable temper, cither in the house or out of it.
PRRFORMANCES. In 1851, at Newmarket Craven Meeting, Iris, ridden by Flatman, and carrying 8st. 41b., won a Produce Sweepstakes of 50 sov. each, &c. ; D. M.; beating Lord Clifden's Coticula, 8st. 71b. 5 to 1 on Iris. Won in a common canter.
At Newmarket First Spring Meeting, ridden by Butler, she ran third for the Thousand Guineas Stakes of 100 sov. cach, &c. ; D. M.; won by Sir J. Hawley's Aphroditè, Mr. Gratwicke's Anspach second, Mr. Delamere's Fortuna fourth, Miss Harrison's Trickstress fifth, and Mr.