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When I was some years younger than I am at present, I used to employ myself in a more laborious diversion, which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercises that is written with great erudition: it is there called the Klouaxía, or the fighting with a man's own shadow, and 5 consists in the brandishing of two short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaden with plugs of lead at either end. This opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and gives a man all the pleasure of boxing without the blows. I could wish that several learned men would 10 lay out that time which they employ in controversies and disputes about nothing, in this method of fighting with their own shadows. It might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen, which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to themselves.
15 To conclude, as I am a compound of soul and body, I consider myself as obliged to a double scheme of duties; and think I have not fulfilled the business of the day, when I do not thus employ the one in labour and exercise, as well as the other in study and contem- 20 plation.
SIR ROGER AS A HUNTER. [BUDGELL.]
No. 116. — FRIDAY, JULY 13, 1711.
VOCAT ingenti clamore Cithæron,
THOSE who have searched into human nature observe, that nothing so much shews the nobleness of the soul, as that its felicity onsists in action. Every man has
such an active principle in him, that he will find out 5 something to employ himself upon, in whatever place or state of life he is posted. I have heard of a gentleman who was under close confinement in the Bastile seven years ; during which time he amused himself in
scattering a few small pins about his chamber, gathering 10 them up again, and placing them in different figures
on the arm of a great chair. He often told his friends afterwards, that unless he had found out this piece of exercise, he verily believed he should have lost his
15 After what has been said, I need not inform my read
ers, that Sir Roger, with whose character I hope they are at present pretty well acquainted, has in his youth gone through the whole course of those rural diversions
which the country abounds in ; and which seem to be 20 extremely well suited to that laborious industry a man may observe here in a far greater degree than in towns and cities. I have before hinted at some of
friend's exploits; he has in his youthful days taken forty coveys of partridges in a season; and tired many a salmon with a line consisting but of a single hair. The constant 5 thanks and good wishes of the neighbourhood always attended him, on account of his remarkable enmity towards foxes; having destroyed more of those vermin in one year, than it was thought the whole county could have produced. Indeed the knight does not scruple to 10 own among his most intimate friends, that in order to establish his reputation this way, he has secretly sent for great numbers of them out of other counties, which he used to turn loose about the country by night, that he might the better signalise himself in their de- 15 struction the next day. His hunting horses were the finest and best managed in all these parts. His tenants are still full of the praises of a grey stone horse that unhappily staked himself several years since, and was buried with great solemnity in the orchard.
Sir Roger, being at present too old for fox-hunting, to keep himself in action, has disposed of his beagles and got a pack of stop-hounds. What these want in speed, he endeavours to make amends for by the deepness of their mouths and the variety of their notes, which are 25 suited in such a manner to each other, that the whole cry makes up a complete concert. He is so nice in this particular, that a gentleman having made him a present of a very fine hound the other day, the knight returned it by the servant with a great many expressions of civil- 30 ity ; but desired him to tell his master, that the dog he
had sent was indeed a most excellent bass, but that at present he only wanted a counter-tenor. Could I believe my friend had ever read Shakspeare, I should certainly conclude he had taken the hint from Theseus in the 5 Midsummer Night's Dream:
“My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flu'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung
Act iv. sc. I.
Sir Roger is so keen at this sport that he has been out almost every day since I came down; and upon the 15 chaplain's offering to lend me his easy pad, I was pre
vailed on yesterday morning to make one of the company. I was extremely pleased, as we rid along, to observe the general benevolence of all the neighbour
hood towards my friend. The farmers' sons thought 20 themselves happy if they could open a gate for the good
old knight as he passed by ; which he generally requited with a nod or a smile, and a kind inquiry after their fathers and uncles.
After we had rid about a mile from home, we came 25 upon a large heath, and the sportsmen began to beat.
They had done so for some time, when, as I was at a little distance from the rest of the company, I saw a hare pop out from a small furze-brake almost under
my horse's feet. I marked the way she took, which 30 I endeavoured to make the company sensible of by extending my arm ; but to no purpose, till Sir Roger, who knows that none of my extraordinary motions are insignificant, rode up to me and asked me if puss was gone that way? Upon my answering “Yes," he immediately called in the dogs, and put them upon the scent. 5 As they were going off, I heard one of the countryfellows muttering to his companion, that 'twas a wonder they had not lost all their sport, for want of the silent gentleman's crying, “Stole away."
This, with my aversion to leaping hedges, made me 10 withdraw to a rising ground, from whence I could have the pleasure of the whole chase, without the fatigue of keeping in with the hounds. The hare immediately threw them above a mile behind her ; but I was pleased to find, that instead of running straight forwards, or, in 15 hunter's language, “flying the country,” as I was afraid she might have done, she wheeled about, and described a sort of circle round the hill, where I had taken my station, in such manner as gave me a very distinct view of the sport. I could see her first pass by,
and the 20 dogs some time afterwards, unravelling the whole track she had made, and following her through all her doubles. I was at the same time delighted in observing that deference which the rest of the pack paid to each particular hound, according to the character he had acquired 25 among them : if they were at a fault, and an old hound of reputation opened but once, he was immediately followed by the whole cry; while a raw dog, or one who was a noted liar, might have yelped his heart out without being taken notice of.
The hare now, after having squatted two or three