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by writers on canine matters, ought not to be omitted here, as he flourished about 1550, when little was said about the dog, although it was more valued during his period than it had been earlier. He says, “the mastiff or ban dog is vast, huge, stubborn, ugly, and eagre, of a heavy and burdensome body, and therefore but of little swiftness, terrible and frightful to behold, and more fierce and fell than any Arcadian cur, notwithstanding they are said to have their generation from the valiant lion. They are called Villatica, because they are appointed to watch and keep out-of-theway farm places. . . . . They are serviceable against the fox and badger, to drive wild and tame swine out of meadows, &c., and to bait and take the bull by the ear when occasion requireth. For it is a kind of dog capable of courage violent and valiant, striking fear into the hearts of man, and standing in fear of no man, and no weapon will make him shrink or abridge his boldness.” Caius goes on to say these dogs are trained to bait the bear and other “cruel beasts '' without “any collar to defend their throats,” and oftentimes they train them up in fighting and wrestling a man, who having for a safeguard either a pikestaff, a club, or a sword, and by using them to such exercises as these, the dogs become more sturdy and strong.” Here the duties of the mastiff appear to have been of a varied character, if not altogether a pleasant one, and it would be a dog to be avoided by the general public. Conrad Heresbach, of Cleves on the Rhine, who flourished, as the school books say, about the middle of the sixteenth century, he being born in 1509 and dying in 1576, in his book of Husbandry, translated into English by Barnaby Goodge, calls the mastiff “the ban dog for the house. Such a one should have a large and mighty body, a great and shrill voice, that both with his barking he may discover and with his sight dismay the thief; yea, not being seen, with the horror of his voice put him to flight. His stature must neither be too long nor too short, but well set; his head great, his eyes sharp and fiery, either brown or grey; his lippes blackish, neither turning up nor hanging too much down; his mouth black and wide; his neather jaw fat, and coming out on either side of it a fang appearing more outward than his other teeth ; his upper teeth, even with his neather, not hanging too much over, sharp and hidden with his lips; his countenance like a lion; his breast great and shaghaired; his shoulders broad, his legs big, his tail short, his feet very great. His disposition must be neither too gentle nor too curt, that he must neither fawn upon a thief nor flee upon his friends; very waking, no gadder abroad nor lavish of his mouth, barking without cause; neither make it any matter though he be not swift, for he is but to fight at home, and to give warning to the enemy.” Whether some of our modern breeders have endeavoured to produce an animal similar to that described by Conrad Heresbach one cannot tell, but from the “very great feet" often seen nowadays, and the decided slowness in their paces of others, it might be thought a return to the dog as described in the middle of the seventeenth century had been sought to be brought about. Certainly I have seen prize winning modern mastiffs that would, from sheer inability, not be “gadders abroad.” To come to modern times a huge leap of over many centuries must be made, but before actually entering upon a description of the race as it is at present, an omission would be caused were the Lyme Hall mastiffs to be omitted. It has been said that at the seat of the Leghs at Lyme Hall, in Cheshire, a strain of mastiffs has been kept intact for many years. This is, however, not the case. On a recent visit to the ancient residence I found but about seven mastiffs present, and these were of a very inferior character in every way. Without distinctive feature, there was one dark fawn dog, others light fawn with black muzzles, and an animal that had been obtained to improve the strain that would have been best relegated to the tan yard. I was sorry to come to the conclusion that the Lyme Hall mastiff, with its historical traditions, was become a thing of the past, its place being usurped by inferior specimens not good enough to obtain a prize at any of our smallest dog shows. For the sake of his ancient repute it would have been better had the mastiff of the Leghs been allowed to entirely disappear, like the wild cattle which not many years ago grazed in the adjoining park, than to degenerate into the poor creatures we saw in the kennels there a few months ago. Some twenty years or so since, my friend Mr. H. D. Kingdon did his best to restore life and give prominence to the Lyme Hall strain, but his energy was entirely thrown away, and the few dogs he did bring forward were small and poor creatures in comparison with the superb specimens that had for some time emanated from other kennels. About half a century ago there was a turning point in the history of the mastiff, which the succeeding establishment of dog shows facilitated. Is the story of the origin of the Lyme Hall mastiff too stale to be reproduced here 2. On St. Crispin's day, October 25th, 1415, the battle of Agincourt was fought, and the English had a decisive victory over their Gallic neighbours. Sir Peers Legh, of Lyme Hall, fighting for the victors, lay wounded on the field, and when found by his comrades he was guarded by a magnificent mastiff bitch, who did not leave her master until he died of his wounds in Paris, whither he had been removed. The bitch pupped shortly afterwards, but this did not prevent the warrior's family making arrangements for the conveyance of the knight's protector and her family to Lyme Hall, whither the corpse was taken for subsequent interment in the private vault of the Legh's, within the walls of Macclesfield Parish Church. From these puppies there sprung what was once supposed to be a pure strain of mastiffs. But history is silent about even the parent bitch herself, although it has been stated positively that the Lyme Hall strain was descended from dogs born generations before Agincourt was won. I do not think that anyone who wishes to improve his strain of mastiffs to-day would fly to the Lyme Hall Kennels for the purpose. At the time of my visit, there was a very fine painting by Nettleship, about 1876, of a mastiff, and a right good dog too, evidently quite as good as Miss Aglionby's Turk, and some others that

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