well, that any cautionary hints act rather in a man’s favour than otherwise. Moreover, hunting men, as we said before, are all supposed to be rich, and as very few ladies are aware that a horse can’t hunt every day in the week, they just class the whole ‘genus’ fourteen-horse power men, ten-horse power men, five-horse power men, two-horse power men, together, and tying them in a bunch, label it ‘very rich,’ and proceed to take measures accordingly.

Let us now visit one of the ‘strongholds’ of fox and fortune-hunting.

A sudden turn of a long, gently-rising, but hitherto uninteresting road, brings the posting traveller suddenly upon the rich well-wooded, beautifully undulating vale of Fordingford, whose fine green pastures are brightened with occasional gleams of a meandering river, flowing through the centre of the vale. In the far distance, looking as though close upon the blue hills, though in reality several miles apart, sundry spires and taller buildings are seen rising above the grey mists towards which a straight, undeviating, matter-of-fact line of railway passing up the right of the vale, directs the eye. This is the famed Laverick Wells, the resort, as indeed all watering-places are, according to Newspaper accounts, of

Knights and dames,
And all that wealth and lofty lineage claim.

At the period of which we write, however, Laverick Wells was in great favour -- it had never known such times. Every house, every lodging, every hole and corner was full, and the great hotels, which more resemble Lancashire cotton-mills than English hostelries, were sending away applicants in the most offhand, indifferent way.

The Laverick Wells hounds had formerly been under the management of the well-known Mr Thomas Slocdolager, a hard-riding, hard-bitten, hold-harding sort of sportsman, whose whole soul was in the thing, and who would have ridden over his best friend in the ardour of the chase.

In some countries such a creature may be considered an acquisition, and so long as he reigned at the Wells, people made the best they could of him, though it was painfully apparent to the livery-stable keepers, and others, who had the best interest of the place at heart, that such a red-faced, gloveless, drab-breeched, mahogany-booted buffer, who would throw off at the right time, and who resolutely set his great stubbly- cheeked face against all show meets and social intercourse in the field, was not exactly the man for a civilised place. Whether time might have enlightened Mr Slocdolager as to the fact, that continuous killing of foxes, after fatiguingly long runs, was not the way to the hearts of the Laverick Wells sportsmen, is unknown, for on attempting to realise as fine a subscription as ever appeared upon paper, it melted so in the process of collection, that what was realised was hardly worth his acceptance; so saying, in his usual blunt way, that if he hunted a country at his own expense he would hunt one that wasn’t encumbered with fools, he just stamped his little wardrobe into a pair of old black saddle-bags, and rode out of town without saying ‘tar, tar,’ goodbye, carding, or PPC-ing anybody.

This was at the end of a season, a circumstance that considerably mitigated the inconvenience so abrupt a departure might have occasioned, and as one of the great beauties of Laverick Wells is, that it is just as much in vogue in summer as in winter, the inhabitants consoled themselves with the old aphorism, that there is as ‘good fish in the sea as ever came out of it,’ and cast about in search someone to supply his place at as small cost to themselves as possible. In a place so replete with money and the enterprise of youth, little difficulty was anticipated, especially when the old bait of ‘a name’ being all that was wanted, ‘an ample subscription,’ to defray all expenses figuring in the background, was held out.

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