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spots; the shepherd and ploughman leave their work; the peasants "desert the unpeopled village.”

And wild crowds
Spread o'er the plains, by the sweet frenzy seized.
The hare doubles again, gets behind the pack, and “ seems to
pursue the foe she flies.”

Let cavillers deny
That brutes have reason: Sure 'tis something more.
'Tis Heaven directs, and stratagems inspires,

Beyond the short extent of human thought. But the hounds find her out, and the pack sees her sitting on an eminence, "listening with one ear erect," and wondering what to do next, “pondering and doubtful what new course to take.” At length she decides to trust to her heels again, and is off.

Once more, ye jovial train, your courage try. She has gone uphill, which takes it out of the hounds, and down the steep other side, which takes it out of the riders ; but "smoking along the vale," the hunt has the hare full in view. A flock of sheep baulks the hounds for a while, but they take up the “steaming scent”. again, and “ the rustling stubbles bend beneath the driving storm” of harriers.

Now the poor chase
Begins to flag, to her last shifts reduc'd.
From brake to brake she flies, and visits all
Her well known haunts, where once she rang’d secure,
With love and plenty bless'd. See! there she goes;
She reels along, and by her gait betrays
Her inward weakness. See how black she looks.
The sweat that clogs the obstructed pores scarce leaves
A languid scent.

And now in open view
See, see! she flies; each eager hound exerts
His utmost speed, and stretches ev'ry nerve.
How quick she turns, their gaping jaws eludes,
And yet a moment lives, till round enclos'd
By all the greedy pack, with infant screams

She yields her breath, and there, reluctant, dies. After this, of course, there is nothing to come but exultations, and for the hounds a taste of blood.

The huntsman now a deep incision makes,
Shakes out with hands impure, and dashes down,
Her reeking entrails and yet quivering heart.
These claim the pack, the bloody perquisite
Of all their toils. Stretched on the ground she lies
A mangled corse ; in her dim-glaring eyes
Cold Death exults and stiffens every limb.

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In the East ise k 's DX a fan var beast; it lives a secluded life, and seizom tas be abodes oi men; the jackal, therefore, is the original of those Orestal myths which European fabulists have adopted, and werein the Western fox takes the place of its foreign congener. The two animals have very much in common in habits and character, tborgh the fox is the superior in physical endurance, speed, and, perhaps, courage. I qualify my opinion on the last point because it may be that the appearance of inferior pluck in the jackal may be really only due to an extra measure of that astute discretion which has made this animal the foremost figure in myth and folklore.

If we accept the myth translations of Gubernatis we see in the fox-jackal the ruddy interval between daylight and darkness that shades off into twilight grey with black night points ; it is the crepuscular phenomenon of the heavens taking an animal form. But just as there are two “ auroras," the morning and the evening, so the fox-jackal has in every twenty-four hours two chances at the sun. cock, both of which it punctually fails to score, missing the solar fowl with an invariable accuracy that ought by this time to have had a depressing effect upon Reynard.

In fables the character of the fox is also dual. It is generally the deceiver, but also on occasions the dupe. Many animals on occasion fall a victim to it-in the single romance of Reincke Fuchs it outwits and infamously ruins the king-lion and pretty nearly all his courtier-quadrupeds—but every now and again the same animals flout it, make fun of it, play tricks on it. Even cocks and kids have a joke occasionally at its expense, which is very true to nature, for we often see the professional sharper, the habitual traitor, exposed and put to shame by simple honesty or innocent mother wit. Betty with her mop routs the fencing-master. But, above all, the fox is always beaten when he tries to pass off his dishonesties upon other foxes ; the rogues know each other too well to try to guess where the pea is. So when the fox falls by accident into a dyer's vat, and comes out a fine blue all over, he goes back to his kindred and tells them that he is a peacock of the sky. But they recognise his voice and worry him till they pull all his blue fur off, and he dies. Stories of the same purport are abundant and familiar to all.

Yet there are plenty of occasions in which the fox behaves very honourably to its friends, and appears in the light of a benefactor, notably, in those tales where reynard plays the part of Puss-in-boots, such as Cosmo the Quickly Enriched, and others. Moreover, the cock is sometimes found on the most friendly relations with the fox, who helps it against their common enemy, the wolf.

It is almost needless to say that many poets condemn fox-hunting, “ which rural gentlemen call sport divine,” and perhaps superfluous to add that their reasons hardly justify their condemnation. To them the sportsman appears something rather less than human.

To the field he flies,
Leaps every fence but one, then falls and dies
Like a slain deer; the tumbril brings him home,
Unmissed but by his dogs and by his groom.

Especially does this class of poet detest to see women in the field.

Far be the spirit of the chase from them!
Uncomely courage, unbeseeming skill,
To spring the fence, to rein the prancing steed.

They hope “such horrid joy” will never “stain the bosom of the British fair."

Nor when they come to discriminate between one kind of sport and another is their argument such as to increase respect for their opinion. When Venus implores her darling not to hunt fierce beasts, but, if he must hunt, to go after the “timid hare,” there is womanly reason enough in what she says. But when Thomson begs “ye Britons” not to hunt the poor "dappled” stag with the “chequered” sides, nor the “flying hare," but, if they must hunt, to ride after the fox, “the nightly robber of the fold,” and,“ pitiless, pour their sportive

fury” upon it, the sustian of his sentiment is neither masculine nor feminine ; it is the language of a neuter.

This idea, that Englishmen hunted the fox because it eats ducks, is quite a common one with the poets, and justifies, to their minds, the chase of it. So that it seems incredible that they could ever have seen a fox-hunter-still less have heard him speak with admiration, pride, even affection of the staunch, plucky, little beast that had given him a fast run, and saved its brush after all. At any rate, the idea that the animal is hunted because it kills chickens, and, therefore, richly deserves the worst that can happen to it, is utterly foreign to the character of “sport.” The singular fact that foxes are preserved in order to be hunted should have corrected the theories of modern poets.

With the otter it fares exactly the same. Because the beast catches fish which men wish to catch it is said to merit the death which overtakes it when the hounds pursue and tear it to pieces. They all seem to hate it, call it "felon," “ robber,” and “prowler," and Somerville descants at length in a very spirited but most deliberately cruel poem on the pleasures of murdering an otter.

PHIL. ROBINSON,

457

THE QUEEN'S MARYS.

D EFERENCE is seldom made to the Queen's Marys, the four

N Maids of Honour whose romantic attachment to their royal mistress and namesake, the ill-fated Queen of Scots, has thrown such a halo of popularity and sympathy about their memory, without calling forth the well-known lines :

Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,

The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seton, and Marie Beton,

And Marie Carmichael and me. To those who are acquainted with the whole of the ballad, which records the sad fate of the guilty Mary Hamilton, it must have occurred that there is a striking incongruity between the traditional loyalty of the Queen's Marys and the alleged execution of one of their number, on the denunciation of the offended Queen herself, for the murder of an illegitimate child, the reputed offspring of a criminal intrigue with Darnley. Yet, a closer investigation of the facts assumed in the ballad leads to a discovery more unexpected than even this: It establishes, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that, of the four family-names given in this stanza as those of the four Marys, two only are authentic. Mary Carmichael and Mary Hamilton herself are mere poetical myths. Not only does no mention of them occur in any of the lists still extant of the Queen's personal attendants, but there also exist documents of all kinds, from serious historical narrative and authoritative charter to gossiping correspondence and polished epigran, to prove that the colleagues of Mary Beton and Mary Seton were Mary Fleming and Mary Livingston. How the apocryphal names have found their way into the ballad, or how the ballad itself has come to be connected with the Maids of Honour, cannot be determined. The only passage which may be looked upon as furnishing a possible foundation of truth to the whole fiction is one in which John Knox records the commission and the punishment of a crime similar to that for which Mary Hamilton is represented as about to die on the gallows. “In the very time of

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