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Cyneg. vs. 203.
L. I. vs. 533. et
The imperfect poem of Gratius, the Faliscian, on hunting, Gratii Falisci and the often-cited simile of his contemporary Ovid, afford the earliest notice of the canis Gallicus for he was unknown to ancient Greece. The description of a single-handed course by the poet of the Metamorphoses, as it is the first attempt of the kind by any classic author, so is it unrivalled in the accuracy of its technical phraseology, and the beauty of its poetry. Intermediate in point of time between the vivid Ovidian sketch, and the full and perfect picture of Arrian, are the faint outlines of the epigrammatist Martial: and Martial. L. III. Epig. 47. et subsequent to the Bithynian's, the somewhat doubtful por- L. XIV. Epig. trait of the philologist Julius Pollux, presented to the Emperor Commodus; and yet later, that of Oppian, the Greek poet of Anazarbus, of the reigns of Severus and Caracalla. —
mast. L. v. Præf.
L. I. vs. 401.
1. This statement is limited to classical authors alone; the Biblical scholar might possibly arraign its accuracy, if made more general; though it scarce needs qualification to suit the doubtful interpretation of the Hebrew text of Proverbs ch. xxx. ver. 31. No allusion occurring elsewhere in the sacred volume to dogs of the chase, though many to the earlier varieties of Venation with predatory instruments, it is improbable that the words of Agur to his pupils Ithiel and Ucal should refer to the most uncommon of the canine tribe, the canis Leporarius, Gallicus, or Vertragus. The Hebrew expression, however, for "accinctus lumbis," "girt in the loins," as explained in the margin of the English version, is understood by Jewish lexicographers to designate the greyhound, and is so rendered in the English text. But with the learned Bochart (Præfat. ad Lectorem-wherein he corrects a few errors of the body of his work, and gives his latest and most mature opinions on certain Scriptural difficulties —a part of his writings apparently overlooked by modern annotators, to the farther propagation of error) I should rather understand the horse to be the animal alluded to—“ equum intelligi malim, qui non solùm expeditè, sed et superbè, et cum pompâ quâdam incedit: et lumbos habet cingulâ vel zonâ verè succinctos. Quod an de cane dici possit valdè ambigo." After all, perhaps, no particular animal may have been intended by the son of Jakeh. The term may have a general reference to any animal of the frame alluded to-"substricta gerens-ilia-" The chapter containing the passage in question is not found in the Septuagint; indeed the Greek version of the LXX. terminates with the 29th chapter.
Bocharti Hierozoic. L. II. c. LVI.
Ejusdem Præfat.ad Lectorem.
neg. vs. 106.
In these authors alone do we find any allusion to the courser's
hound, till towards the close of the third century, when he Nemesian, Cy- again appears in the Cynegeticon of Nemesian; who has cleverly struck out in a few lines the elegant symmetry of his shape, and added thereto some peculiar remarks on the selection, feeding, and entrance of puppies. With the scanty portraiture of the Carthaginian poet we are brought down to the
Ejusd. vs. 64. reigns of Carus, his sons, "Divi fortissima pignora Cari," and Diocletian at which epoch, memorable alike in the annals of the world and its literature, the classical history of the leash may be said to terminate, and therewith all notice of the Celtic hound.1
We have no ancient records of the chase to succeed the
1. In the 27th oration of Themistius, the eclectic philosopher of Paphlagonia, a passage occurs, which, as far as merely mentioning Celtic dogs by name, may be said to prolong the notice to the fourth century. The whole passage, as illustrative of the author's subject, "non loca attendenda sed homines," is curious and worthy of Themistii Orat. citation—ὅστις δὲ ἀγαπᾷ κύνας, τούτῳ προσφιλὲς μὲν κτῆμα, καὶ Κέλται, καὶ Λάκαιναι σκύλακες· δάκνει δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ τὸ Καστορίδων φύλον, καὶ τὸ ̓Αρκαδικὸν αὐτὸ, καὶ τὸ Κρητικὸν, αἷς φύσις τῶν θηρίων ἐλέγχειν τὰς εὐνὰς κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἐπισπομέναις. οὐ παρόψεται δὲ οὐδὲ τὰς οἴκοι σκυλακευθείσας, εἰ μήτε κάλλους ἐκείνων μήτε ὠκύτητος λείTOLVTO. In favour of the greyhound being here cited, it may be remarked that the Bithynian courser calls the Celtic dog μéya êrîμa (cap. xxx11.) and his shape кαλóv τι χρῆμα, and derives his name ἀπὸ τῆς ὠκύτητος, as the characteristic distinction of See some remarks on the "Canes Scotici" of Symmachus hereafter.
2. The Cynosophium alone, a Greek work "de Curâ Canum," breaks the silence of many centuries. It is supposed to have been compiled, about the year 1270, by Demetrius of Constantinople, author of the first treatise "de Re Accipitrariâ,” and physician to the Emperor Michael Palæologus. To what is borrowed from the two Xenophons, nothing is added of novelty or interest, save in the department of canine pathology; indeed it is almost entirely confined to kennel-management and therapeutics. No notice is taken of any variety of dog by name. The reader, who may wish to consult its medical nostrums, will find the treatise attached to the "Rei Accipitrariæ Scriptores" of Rigaltius (Lutetiæ MDCXII.) and to the "Poetæ Venatici of Johnson (Londini MDCXCIX.).
Greek and Latin Cynegetica; for though it be true that the barbarian codes of law, the Salic, Burgundian, and German, extended their protection to our variety of Canis Venaticus, about the year 500, under the title of Veltris and its synonyms; and some of the Cynegetical writers appear to have been well known in the dark ages, and so highly valued in the eighth 'century, as to be read among the higher Greek and Roman classics, in the time of Charlemagne; and we believe coursing and other sports were as attractive in the field, as the writers upon such subjects were in the schools, (for the court of this prince had its Veltrarii, officers of the greyhound-kennel, “ qui veltres custodiebant,") still, instead of any formal treatise of this date upon the pastime of the leash, we find for several centuries, only incidental allusions to the greyhound, and his high repute, principally as distinctive of the gentility of his possessor, until the publication of "The Booke of Hawkyng, Huntyng, &c." by Dame Juliana Berners, in the fifteenth century.
pp. 113. et
Gloss. in voce.
Book of St. Al
The didactic discourse of hunting, contained in this volume, commonly known by its territorial appellation of "The Book of St. Albans," may be an amplified versification of the prosaic bans. "Venery of Mayster John Gyfford and Willm Twety, that were with Kyng Edward the Secunde ;" or possibly a compilation and translation by the sister of Lord Berners, or the "one sumtyme schole mayster of Seynt Albons" from earlier Latin and French writers: but such authorities are as yet, I believe, unknown to Antiquaries. Excepting, therefore, the few lines, before alluded to, in the latest of the Latin Cynegetica, and the earlier portrait of Oppian, which I consider referable to the
of Engl. Poetry, Vol. I. p. 172.
hound in question, it may be said that we do not possess in
Book of St. Al- print any full description of "the propritees of a good Grehounde” ἐκ τῶν ποδῶν ἐς τὴν κεφαλὴν, from the time of the learned Courser of Nicomedia, till that of the sporting prioress of Sopewell.
Vesp. B. XII.
11. act II.
Not that I am ignorant of the curious early treatise of Gaston Phoebus, the celebrated Comte de Foix, written in the middle of the fourteenth century, entitled "Des Deduitz de la Chasse de Bestes Sauvaiges et des Oyseaux de Proye; nor of a more rare work in manuscript, Che Mapster of Game, Henry VI. pt. composed by Edmund Duke of York, “Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son," in the latter part of the fourteenth century; and therefore, in point of date, claiming a priority to the book of St. Albans, as do, of course, the lucubrations of the Second Edward's attendants before mentioned. But these enchiridia of field sports preceded the Sopewell collection only a few years; and in the Count de Foix's manual, as given by Fouilloux under the title of "La Chasse du Roy Phebus," there is nothing on our subject worth noticing.
Ms. ut supra.
In The Crafte of Hontyng1 by Gyfford and Twety, the greyhound is mentioned only once; and hare-coursing is not recorded at all.
The unpublished labours of the Duke of York, "Edmonde, hyght of Langley," contain much original and valuable
Warton's Engl. Poetry, V. II. 221.
1. The Crafte of Hontyng is supposed to be a version by Gyfford from a more ancient work by Twety or Twici-" Le art de Venerie le quel Maistre Guillaume Twici Venour le Roy d'Angleterre fist en son temps per aprandre autres." The greyhound is mentioned fol. 4. of blowing. “Whañ a mañ hath set up archerys and greyhoundes, and the beest be founde and passe out the boundys, and myne houndes aftir," &c.
2. These instructions were written for Henry Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry V.
information and it is to be regretted that it is not rendered more available to coursers by being committed to the press. With copious general descriptions of our ancient field-sports, and animals obnoxious to the chase, The Manster of Game unites specific delineations of the shape of each variety of canis venaticus, employed by British sportsmen of past days, with occasional references to the chace practices of foreign countries "by yonde the see." The chapter of greyhoundes and of here nature, as cited hereafter in illustration of Arrian, will be read with pleasure. Indeed the Duke's portrait of the Celtic hound is even more minutely accurate and precise than its Grecian prototype, and her manners as they are quaintly termed, and briefly sketched in the royal Cynegeticus, establish many of the remarks of the younger Xenophon περὶ τῆς γνώμης
Still Dame Julyan's compilation being, at least, the first of the kind that issued from the English press, and the type of our modern works of Venery, may be viewed as the earliest attempt, since the revival of letters, to certify by intelligible canons, the corporeal characteristics of a good greyhound. With the traditionary dogmata of Sir Tristrem de Liones,' who was the reputed "begynner of all the termes of huntynge and hawkynge," it incorporates the accumulated knowledge of many centuries.
1. The "Morte Arthur" tells us, that "Tristrem laboured ever in hunting and hawking, so that we never read of no gentleman more that so used himself therein," Tristrem. &c. and in the rich poetry of Spenser, the knight informs Sir Calidore,
my most delight hath always been
To hunt the salvage chace, amongst my peers,
Of all that rangeth in the forest green,
Of which none is to me unknown, that ever yet was seen.