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noise either with tongue or foot whilst they follow the game. These attend diligently upon their masters, and frame their conditions to such becks, motions, and gestures as it shall please him to exhibit, inclining to the right hand or yielding to the left. In making mention of fowl my meaning here is of partridge or quail. When he hath found the bird he keepeth sure and fast silence, and stayeth his steps, and will proceed no farther, and with close, covert, watching eye, layeth his belly to the ground, and so creepeth forward like a worm. When he approacheth near to the place where the bird is, he lays down, and with a mark of his paws betrayeth the place of the bird's last abode, whereby it is supposed that this kind of dog is called 'Index '--Setter being a name both consonant and agreeable with his quality.”
Three decades after Caius we get an even better description of the setting dog from one Richard Surflet, in his discourse upon land and water spaniels. The whole matter is so good that I must quote it, notwithstanding that a portion of it belongs rather to my spaniel section. “The spaniel is gentle, loving, and courteous to man, more than any other sort of dog whatsoever ; he loveth to hunt the wing of any bird, especially partridge, pheasant, quail, and such like. You must choose him by his shape, beauty, mettle, and cunning hunting ; his shape being discerned in the good composition of his body, as when he hath a round, thick head ; a short nose; a long, well-compast and hairie ear; broad and syde lips; a cleare red eye ; a thick neck ; broad breast ; short and well-knit joints ; round feet; good round ribs ; a gaunt bellie ; a short, broad backe; a thicke, bushie tail, and all his body generally long and well-haired. His beauty is discerned in his colour, of which the motleys or pied
are the best, whether they be black and white, red and white, or liver-hued and white, for to be all of one colour, as all white, or all blacke, or all red, or all liver-hued, without any other spot, is not so comely in the field, although the dogs, notwithstanding, may be of excellent cunning. His mettle is discerned by his free, untiring, laboursome ranging, beating a field over and over, and not leaving a furrow untrodden, or one unsearched, where any haunt is likely to be hidden; and, when he doth it, most courageously and swiftly, with a wanton, playing tail, and a busie labouring nose, neither desisting nor showing less delight in his labour at night than he did in the morning. The land spaniel called the 'Setter' must neither hunt, range nor retaine, more or less than as his master appointeth, taking the whole limit of whatsoever they do from the eye or hand of the instructor. They must never quest at any time, what occasion soever may happen, but as being dogs without voices, so they must hunt close and mute. And when they come upon the haunt of that they hunt, they shall suddenly stop and fall down upon their bellies, and so, leisurely, creep by degrees to the game, till they come within two or three yards thereof, or so near that they can press no nearer without danger of retrieving. Then shall your setter stick, and by no persuasion go farther till you yourself come in and use your pleasure. Now the dogs which are to be made for this pleasure should be the most principal, best, and lustiest spaniels you can get, both of good scent and good courage, yet young and as little as may be made acquainted with such hunting.”
From this quotation it is pretty evident that the setter is descended from a spaniel stock. Whether any out-cross entered into the breed at any time it is
difficult to say ; "Stonehenge " suggests a strain of the Talbot hound—a suggestion which some setter-fanciers have scouted with great indignation. Mr. Laverack, in his work, The Setter, writing, as probably the greatest authority on the breed, is of opinion that “all setters have more or less originally sprung from our various strains of spaniels ; I believe it to be of greater antiquity than the pointer, and therefore it cannot have been crossed with that breed to render it what it is.” The Sportsman's Cabinet,
published in 1803, tells us that at that period the pointer was often called the "smooth spaniel," and the setter the “rough spaniel,” in the northern counties. But whatever the origin of the breed, there is absolutely no doubt but that the “setting dog" has enjoyed a classification for about four hundred years, and as such he is entitled to the greatest respect at the hands of the canine historian.
A dog so valuable to the sportsman has naturally been the object of his especial care, and developed to a perfection, both physical and for its practical duties, such as scarcely any other breed of dog can claim. The improvement achieved in the last century may be inferred from the illustration I give of Reinagle's setter of 1803, which appears to have been a rather plain - headed animal, with the feather of its flag inverted, being longer in fringe at the base than at the end. The original strain has branched into three great families: the English, the Gordon or Black and Tan, and the Irish setter. The English is subdivided into innumerable local strains, of which it would be impossible to deal in detail in an article of the length to which mine is limited. The generic family admits of many colours, such as black and white, lemon and white, liver and white, or tricolour,—those flecked all over being preferred to specimens with heavy patches of colour on the body. The Gordon setter is of the colour its alternative name implies, and the Irish setter of a rich golden tan,—not the slightest trace of black being allowed, though a little white is admissible on chest, throat, toes, or in the shape of a forehead star.
THE ENGLISH SETTER To Mr. Laverack in the beginning and middle of the last century, and to Mr. Purcell-Llewellin in the latter half of it, the breed of English setters owes its chief development. Mr. Laverack obtained his strain in a dog and bitch known as Ponto and Old Moll from a gentleman at Carlisle about the year 1825, at a time when dog-pedigrees did not enter into the economy of dog-fancying. By judicious crossing and breeding he perfected a strain which came to be known afterwards by his own name, and was for fifty years amongst the very best of the day. When he died thirty years ago
he left only five dogs, having been unfortunate in rearing latterly ; but the blood of these five animals is diffused throughout a great number of the present-day winners; whilst in America, where he exported several specimens from his kennels, a magnificent breed of setters has been propagated from his stock. It was claimed for the Laverack strain that they showed particular excellence all round in the field, and unusual stamina, and that they could work practically from sunrise to sunset for days at a stretch ; on the other hand, it has been asserted that the Laveracks have done better on the show-bench than at field trials. This seems to be partially recognised by an American writer, who says: “The breed of English setters has been diverging gradually into two types — one encouraged by shows, the other by the demands of practical field sportsmen. The former is of a cobbier type, with a preference for a needless profusion of feather — fashion having, in a measure, taken the setter from his domain as a working dog, and transferred him to domestic life as a pet and a companion,a position to which his docility, intelligence, symmetry of form, beautiful coat, and affectionate disposition eminently qualify him.”
Following Mr. Laverack came Mr. Purcell-Llewellin, a friend of the former, whose work he carried on with even greater success, until his strain came to be known as the “Llewellin” setter. Mr. Llewellin began by keeping black and tan setters, but discarded them; then he gave a trial to the Irish setter, purchasing the very best specimens to be found in the market, and breeding many winners. And yet was not satisfied, for, although he considered them superior to the black and tan, they still fell below his ideal. Next he experimented by crossing these breeds and others, but failed