Glimpses from the Chase

From Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches, A Quarterly Magazine Descriptive of British, Indian, Colonial, and  Foreign Sport with Thirty Two Full Page Illustrations Volume 10 1893, London; Mssrs. Fores Piccadilly W. 1893, All Rights Reserved.

GLIMPSES OF THE CHASE,
Ireland a Hundred Years Ago.
By ‘Triviator.’

FOX-HUNTING has, like Racing, Shooting, and even Dancing, had its phases and fashions ever since it became a National sport, and we may be pretty sure that though we of the guild and fraternity of fin desiecle fox-hunters make it our boast that as the ‘ heirs of all the ages ‘ we have brought the royal sport to the acme of perfection, every contemporary phase was the best adapted to the manners, customs, and requirements of the period ; and that, grotesque and absurd as some of the practices of our forbears appear to us now, many of our improvements and requirements and sublimations of sport would afford them in turn many a hearty laugh. After all, if sport be the desideratum, whatever makes for that end in the opinion of its votaries, must be deemed successful, and if real war—of which, according to Somerville and his pupil John Jorrocks, Fox-hunting is the image—was a comparatively innocuous affair in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, when contrasted with the deadly issues of modern scientific slaughter, it attained its aim as effectually as the present system, though more slowly and tentatively.

Indeed, in a few points, we have not improved upon an cestral form, as, for instance, in the sociable side of the chase, and the consequent camaraderie produced among fox-hunters. The Pytchley reunions, as we learn from the best statistics, now occasionally muster seven hundred mounted men and women, not to speak of the ‘mixed multitude’ who pursue on wheels, or the regiment of runners. Sociability would be impossible in such a crowd of all sorts and conditions of manhood and womanhood, where the preliminary parade has some features in common with Pall Mall and Piccadilly in the season, and so long as the canons of the chase are faithfully observed, no one is too particular as to ‘ who’s who,’ though all are supposed to have learnt ‘ what’s what.’ Indeed, so far as we can gather from the side lights of literature and the fine arts, sociability was the keynote of Fox-hunting towards the close of the last century and the commencement of the present. Shakespeare limns for us a chivalrous prince declaring on the eve of an international battle that—

‘ The man who this day sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother, be he ne’er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition.’

So in the great internecine struggle between the slavery and anti-slavery States of America, whenever the German soldiers who had espoused the Northern side met together in one of the provincial capitals, their challenge to their comrades on furlough was ever on these lines—’ You fight mit Siegel and you drink mit me,’ varied according to circumstance and commands. Similarly did our sociable sires insist that those who shared together the perils of pursuit and rejoiced in its raptures should hold sporting symposia together, and run their runs over again under the inspiring influences of Sneyd’s claret and potations of poteen that had never seen the gauger’s eye. Indeed, so backward and behindhand in means of inter-communication was the country, that it was absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the chase that hospitality should be as open-handed and universal as we now find it in some of our colonies, and we learn that to these sporting oases men were wont to come from long distances, and take the country as they found it, thinking more of the sociable side of the pastime, perhaps, than of the mere riding element ; otherwise it would be hard to imagine that sportsmen with due regard to their own necks, or their hunters’ knees, should have picked out such happy grounds for themselves as Brayhead, Killiney, and bits of Wicklow, but for the fact that a few sporting squires and noblemen cordially welcomed the devotees of Diana, and that Fox-hunting and good fellowship went hand in hand, a condition of things of which we get pleasant glimpses in the song of the Kilruddery Hunt, dedicated, we presume, to the Lord of Kilruddery, the Earl of Meath, otherwise a good part of the vicinity would seem to the fastidious foxhunter about as tempting as the Rocky Ridges of Cintra, near Lisbon, where the woods probably hold many foxes. Glimpses of this pleasant brotherhood of the chase might, nay, may still be seen at Wentworth-Woodhouse, the Yorkshire home of the Fitzwilliam family, where for a certain number of days absolutely open house is kept for the pilgrims of pursuit; and they might have been seen on even a larger scale at Thomastown, the residence of that hospitably minded squire, Mr. Matthews, who kept open house at his seat in Tipperary, and among the inducements for venatic visitors to come and taste his cheer, actually maintained three packs of hounds, namely, buckhounds, foxhounds, and harehounds, for his guests, mounting them besides if they had not brought their hunters with them. Of course such institutions could only be maintained where society was more or less of a close corporation, and when railways did not inject into all accessible meets hordes of hunting men and women, of whom nobody knew anything save that they affected in their well groomed persons ‘the properties’ of the chase, made up in most orthodox style and pattern.

In another respect we must give the palm to the arrangements of our ancestors, for their fields were very small and homogeneous, made up of sportsmen who were proud of the prowess of their hounds, and did not press the hounds unduly, or ride on top of them in the modern fashion. When Melton became, in the first half of the century, a Mecca for nomadic Nimrods, we hear through Parson Louth, the laureate of the Leicestershire pastures, that a favourite meet would bring out a couple of hundred cavaliers, more or less. Thus at Billesdon Coplow—

‘ Two hundred such sportsmen ne’er were seen at a burst,
Each resolv’d to be there, each resolv’d to be first.’

Happy the huntsman, now-a-days, who has only two hundred men and horses thundering in his wake ! Perhaps a score would have represented a large meet in the days we write of, a number ample for sociability, but comparatively harmless for mischief on days when scent was not supremely serving, as well as being more amenable to the Master’s directions.

It should also be placed to the credit of these sportsmen of the olden time that they were no Sybarites, and went through a great amount of what we might term hardship to compass their ends and aims. Many of us have read of the Cockney who had himself called at an unwontedly early hour, and reaching Euston Station, in his eagerness to be in time to catch the morning mail to Blisworth, where his hunters were located, got into a wrong carriage by mistake, and was so overcome by his exertions that he went fast asleep, and missed his train and his hunt, having been roused from his day dreams by a porter, whose duty it was to examine the carriages prior to their starting. In the days we write of there were no such luxurious and far-reaching covert-hacks as trains, and the distances cantering hacks covered would astonish pursuers of the present day, thirty miles being no unknown journey to a meet, while that meet was always fixed at an early hour, so that foxes might be found on the run before they had returned to their earth, after their noctivagous raids. And here we may refer to a favourite trysting place of the Ormonde and King’s County pack, one of the oldest hunting corporations in Ireland, and closely identified with the Rossmore family, namely, ‘ Nanny Moran’s Rock, at break of day.’

Now, anything more abhorrent to the taste and ideas of a Nimrod of the last decade of the nineteenth century than a long ride in the dark, to a gaunt rock, whose only merit was that it was planted in the heart of a fine, wild grass country, where wild OLD foxes abounded, can hardly be conceived, and we may be quite sure that if a modern M.F.H. encouraged such peep-o’-day pursuit, his subscriptions and his fields of followers would dwindle disastrously. At the commencement of the century, however, many were found not only willing but zealous to keep tryst and time there ; proving that ‘ The labour we delight in physicks pain ;’ and the hunting songs of the day refer to the indebtedness of sportsmen to the lady they called ‘ Luna,’ who favoured their early fox forays with her gracious beams, being, according to the mythology of Greece, none other than the Diana of the day, Patroness of pursuit, though at night she sometimes lent her light to ‘ the minions of the moon.’

In point of fact, these matitudinal musters of our forefathers were not unlike the cub-hunting fixtures of the present day, which are designed for the education of hounds and foxes alike, and which would lose to a great extent their raison d’etre, if they were more popular and fashionable. It is the substantive of the last adjective that is simply ‘ smothering’ sport in some parts of England, and that is compelling masters of hounds to resort to all sorts of strange devices and ruses, in the interests of their hounds and subscribers, such as foregoing the advertising of their fixtures in the public prints, and holding their rendezvous at unpleasantly ante-meridian hours. No difficulty of this kind ever presented itself at the commencement of the century in either England or Ireland, and, indeed, in the latter island it has never or only rarely been felt as yet, and the fields there are infinitely less ‘ mixed ‘ than in England, as every one knows every one, or something about him, or her, and sporting strangers are rarely seen in the field, and often a hundred is a good large field in any part of the Green Isle ; two is redundant, and extra numbers are considered bewildering, and rarely occur save occasionally at the Spring Sessions of the Ward Union Stag hounds, on a few Saturdays in Kildare, and when the Meath hounds make their venue within riding distance of Dublin. And in these cases the inconvenience does not last very long, for in addition to the absence of gates, dear to the dilletanti sportsmen, and the certainty of the proximate presence of a few formidable fences, the master of foxhounds invariably reduces the redundancy of riders by drawing away from towns and cities, and generally in the direction of the kennels, from which at starting he may be separated by an interval of thirty miles, a not infrequent occurrence in royal Meath. The rarity of railways, and the infrequency of trains, seems to point to the absence of any congestion of the chase for many years to come in the ‘ distressful country,’ and up to the present time there has been hardly any ground for a grumble, seeing that all sportsmen who come out to hunt have to contribute at least half-a-crown to the expenses of the pack, and fifteen or sixteen pounds (the take sometimes at a fashionable fixture) is a welcome ‘ rate in aid ‘ to the exchequer of the chase. When Ireland becomes really rich, as well as ‘ great, glorious and free,’ possibly hunting crowds will become a nuisance as in England ; but that Milesian millennium has not been even approached yet ; though the prophetic voice of Curran foretold its ultimate advent, for when a wealthy tobacconist of Dublin asked him for a legend to put under his newly acquired arms on the panel of his carriage, the witty Master of the Rolls suggested ‘ Quid rides ‘ (why do you laugh?), and the double entendre will suggest itself at once. Now ‘Quid’ rode in his chariot or phaeton, but no doubt ‘Quid’s’ son? would all hunt with ‘ the Wards,’ ‘ the Meaths,’ or the Kildares.  And here let me state what I saw last season—a sporting railway contractor going by train to an opening meet of his favourite pack. He would not miss the function, but neither could he waste an early hour, so his secretary sat next him in the carriage and took down in short-hand the dictation of the railway king. How such a proceeding would have amazed old-time fox-hunters ! ‘ A deck of cards ‘ in a post-chaise they could well understand, but a series of letters ! Never! Indeed, if that jade Report speaks truly, some of the greatest of that  fox-hunting fraternity were poor hands at either writing or dictating letters (if that time-saving process obtained then).
For instance, the great Giles Eyre—

                          ‘ Who thought nothing at all
Of a six-foot wall.’

on hearing from a brother sportsman of a genius who could knock off twenty letters at a sitting, exclaimed, ‘Its all very well you’re telling me such a yarn, but show me the man.’ Yet no-doubt—

                                 , The same Giles Eyrej
Would make him stare,
If he had him with the Blazers.’

The mention of that last pack, ‘ the Blazers ‘—so called probably because its members were eminent in the use of the saw-handled family-pistols, at a time when ‘ Did he blaze ? ‘ and ‘Will he blaze?’ were almost the first questions asked about a young man of position ‘debutting’ into society—puts me in mind of another phase of Foxhunting in ‘old Ireland ‘ (so called in contradistinction to modern or new Ireland), and that was its peripatetic nature, for if there was a fair, hostelry, or even a modest ‘ pub.’ in the centre of a hunting district, ‘ the Blazers ‘ would take it for a term, and scour the whole country round. I have seen one or two small cribs, many, many miles from the kennels, which they were said to occupy periodically. Sir Josiah Barrington tells us in his amusing way how a number of Queen’s County sportsmen occupied a small crib of this sort during a frost, having first put down a hogshead of claret, killed a bullock, procured musicians, and got a number of game cocks together. The first night when full—’ Veteris Bacchi pinguisque farina‘—they were laid out on the floor with their martial cloaks around them, but as their heads abutted on a newly plastered wall they became by morning fixtures; imbedded, or inheaded, in the wall, and had to be cut out of it ! ‘

Possibly the style of the chase in Ireland early in the century will be best illustrated by an account of ‘ a desperate foxchase,’ which was accounted worthy of a place in the Irish Racing Calendar of its year, a calendar which also contains records of cockfighting and the rules of cocking :—

‘ On the 4th of December last Colonel Eyre’s foxhounds had one of the most desperate runs ever recorded, of one hour and fifty minutes— desperate from its length, desperate from the pace kept up, and desperate from the dreadful storm that raged for nearly the last hour, and

in the very teeth of which Reynard ran; with the exception of one short check the chase was maintained with unabated fury all through. To choose a leap was to be thrown out. At half-past eight o’clock in the morning they drew over the Old Earth at Coolaghgoran for the spotted fox. Tony, the huntsman, knowing well his abilities from former runs, matched his chasehounds the day before, and fed them early. He calls this pack the light infantry, to distinguish them from the slow, heavy draft that were lately sent from England. I was on the Earth a little after eight ; ’twas rising ground, and as the dawn broke, ’twas cheery to behold the foxhunters, faithful to their hours, approaching from distant directions, and as they all closed to the point of destination, the pack ‘ in all its beauty’s pride ‘ appeared on the brow of the hill—

                                          ” Oh, what a charming scene :
When all around was gay, men, horses, dogs,
And in each cheerful countenance was seen,
Fresh blooming health and never fading joy.”

The taking his drag from the Earth was brilliant beyond common fortune, with a train which runs off in a blaze, they hardly touched it till they were out of sight. Madman, that unerring finder, proclaimed the joyful tidings, each foxhound gave credit to the welcome information, and they went away in a crash ; it was a perfect tumult in Mr. Newstead’s garden, there the villain was found, and we went off at his brush —

                           ” Where are your disappointments, wrongs, vexations, sickness,
cares ?
All, all are fled, and with the panting winds lag far behind.”

‘ In skirting a small covert in the first mile we divided on a fresh fox; it was a moment of importance : nothing but prompt, vigorous, and general exertions could repair the misfortune : it was decisive, and we now faced the Commons of Carney ; broad and deep was the Bound’s drain, but what can stop foxhunters ? The line had been maintained by five couples of hounds; they crossed the road, and finding themselves on the extensive sod of the Common, they began to go ‘ the pace.’ A scene now presented itself which none but a foxhunter could appreciate, for its beauty was not discernible to the common and inexperienced eye. At this period the chase became a complete split ; the hounds, which had changed and had now from different directions gained the Commons, could not venture to run in on the five couple without decidedly losing ground, and to maintain it instinct directed them to run on credit, and flanking the five couple the whole pack formed a chain of upwards of 200 yards abreast across the Commons, but as the chain varied through the hollows and windings of this beautiful surface, the hounds on the wings in turns took up the line and maintained their stations, as the others had done, so well was this pack matched. Here we crossed walls that on common occasions would  have been serious obstacles. The second huntsman on a young one, following Lord Rossmore, called out, ” What is on the other side, my Lord ? ” “I am, thank God,” was the answer. We now disappeared from the Commons of Carney, and at this time the pack was hunting so greedily that you would think every dog was hitting like an arrow. We now passed by Carrigagorm for the woods of Peterfield, in the teeth of the most desperate storm I ever witnessed of rain, hail, and wind. Distress was now evident in the Field, for notwithstanding the violence of the gale, ” the pace ” was maintained ; this was the most desperate part of the chase, and as the foxhounds approached the covert, I thought they had got wings : the rain beat violently, with difficulty we could hold our bridles, the boughs gave way to the storm. The Light Infantry were flying at him, and the crash was dreadful. The earths in Peterfield were open, but Reynard scorned the advantage, and gallantly broke amain. He now made for the River Shannon,

                                        ” Where will the chase lead us bewildered ” ?

Some object afterwards changed his direction, and away with him to Clapior. He crossed the great Drain of the Lough, and here we left young Burton Persse (” who had come all the way from Galloway to enjoy a regular cold bath.”) He went down tail foremost, and “no blame to him.” There was no time for ceremony, but Tony, who knew the depth of the Bath, took his leave of him, roaring out ” I’ll never see your sweet face again ” ” By—— ” says the Colonel, ” you were never more mistaken ; never saw him more regularly at home in my life. He’s used to these things, man ! ” And truth requires me to state that he joined us again, and before and after the Bath he rode in a capital place, and many a mile he ran and away by the old Castle of Arcrony, famous in the annals of hunting, and all over its beautiful grounds, and over the great Bound’s drain of Coolaghgoran again, for poor Reynard had now cast a forlorn look towards home at last. There was now a disposition to give him his life, but what could we do ? Old Driver was at his brush; His Majesty’s Guards could not have saved him. Thus ended a chase during which were traversed about twenty-five Irish miles (making thirty English) of the fairest portion of Lower Ormond. In running in Messrs. Fitzgibbon and Henry Westenra took a neat sporting leap. A gentleman of jockey weight, who rode well thro’ the chase, wishing no doubt to show us the length of his neck, craned at it, swore it was the ugliest place in Europe, and that a flock of sheep might be regularly hid in it. There was a very numerous field at finding. During this most desperate fox-chase, George Jackson rode as usual with the hounds, as did Lord Rossmore, Colonel Eyre, Messrs. Fitzgibbon, Henry Westenra, Richard Faulkener, and Burton Persse all through.’

I have copied the account verbatim, but I cannot help thinking that second huntsman should be second horseman—or whip.

There was no harder man to hounds in Meath than the present Lord Rossmore, grandson of the hero of this tale, till he hurt his leg, and the late Burton Persse, who for some thirty seasons was Master of ‘ the Blazers,’ was a grandson of the ‘ Knight of the Bath ‘ referred to here. So it seems old Horace was a good judge, and that ‘Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis.

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JAMES ANSON FARRER,

LONDON

ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW

1892

———-

WHEN did books first come to be burnt in England by the common hangman, and what was [...] Read more →

What is the Meaning of the Term Thorough-bred Fox-hound

Reprint from the Sportsman Cabinet and Town & Country Magazine, Vol.1, Number 1, November 1832.

MR. Editor,

Will you allow me to inquire, through the medium of your pages, the correct meaning of the term thorough-bred fox-hound? I am very well aware, that the expression is in common [...] Read more →

Glimpses from the Chase

From Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches, A Quarterly Magazine Descriptive of British, Indian, Colonial, and Foreign Sport with Thirty Two Full Page Illustrations Volume 10 1893, London; Mssrs. Fores Piccadilly W. 1893, All Rights Reserved.

GLIMPSES OF THE CHASE, Ireland a Hundred Years Ago. By ‘Triviator.’

FOX-HUNTING has, like Racing, [...] Read more →

The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

 

Man looks at severed hand and foot….for refusing to climb a tree to cut rubber for King Leopold

Click here to read The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

Victim of King Leopold of Belgium

Click on the link below for faster download.

The [...] Read more →

Books of Use to the International Art Collector

Hebborn Piranesi

Before meeting with an untimely death at the hand of an unknown assassin in Rome on January 11th, 1996, master forger Eric Hebborn put down on paper a wealth of knowledge about the art of forgery. In a book published posthumously in 1997, titled The Art Forger’s Handbook, Hebborn suggests [...] Read more →

Fly Casting Instructions

It is a pity that the traditions and literature in praise of fly fishing have unconsciously hampered instead of expanded this graceful, effective sport. Many a sportsman has been anxious to share its joys, but appalled by the rapture of expression in describing its countless thrills and niceties he has been literally [...] Read more →

The Master of Hounds

Photo Caption: The Marquis of Zetland, KC, PC – otherwise known as Lawrence Dundas Son of: John Charles Dundas and: Margaret Matilda Talbot born: Friday 16 August 1844 died: Monday 11 March 1929 at Aske Hall Occupation: M.P. for Richmond Viceroy of Ireland Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord – in – Waiting [...] Read more →

The First Pineapple Grown in England

First Pineapple Grown in England

Click here to read an excellent article on the history of pineapple growing in the UK.

Should one be interested in serious mass scale production, click here for scientific resources.

Growing pineapples in the UK.

The video below demonstrates how to grow pineapples in Florida.

[...] Read more →

A History of Fowling – Ravens and Jays

From A History of Fowling, Being an Account of the Many Curios Devices by Which Wild Birds are, or Have Been, Captured in Different Parts of the World by Rev. H.A. MacPherson, M.A.

THE RAVEN (Corvus corax) is generally accredited with a large endowment of mother wit. Its warning [...] Read more →

David Starkey: Britain’s Last Great Historian

Dr. David Starkey, the UK’s premiere historian, speaks to the modern and fleeting notion of “cancel culture”. Starkey’s brilliance is unparalleled and it has become quite obvious to the world’s remaining Western scholars willing to stand on intellectual integrity that a few so-called “Woke Intellectuals” most certainly cannot undermine [...] Read more →

Mortlake Tapestries of Chatsworth

Mortlake Tapestries at Chatsworth House

Click here to learn more about the Mortlake Tapestries of Chatsworth

The Mortlake Tapestries were founded by Sir Francis Crane.

From the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 13

Crane, Francis by William Prideaux Courtney

CRANE, Sir FRANCIS (d. [...] Read more →

A Survey of Palestine – 1945-1946

This massive volume gives one a real visual sense of what it was like running a highly efficient colonial operation in the early 20rh Century. It will also go a long way to help anyone wishing to understand modern political intrigue in the Middle-East.

Click here to read A Survey of Palestine [...] Read more →

Commercial Tuna Salad Recipe

Tom Oates, aka Nabokov at en.wikipedia

No two commercial tuna salads are prepared by exactly the same formula, but they do not show the wide variety characteristic of herring salad. The recipe given here is typical. It is offered, however, only as a guide. The same recipe with minor variations to suit [...] Read more →

Platform of the American Institute of Banking in 1919

Resolution adapted at the New Orleans Convention of the American Institute of Banking, October 9, 1919:

“Ours is an educational association organized for the benefit of the banking fraternity of the country and within our membership may be found on an equal basis both employees and employers; [...] Read more →

JP Morgan’s Digital Currency Patent Application

J.P. Morgan Patent #8,452,703

Method and system for processing internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network.

Abstract

Embodiments of the invention include a method and system for conducting financial transactions over a payment network. The method may include associating a payment address of an account [...] Read more →

Antibiotic Properties of Jungle Soil

If ever it could be said that there is such a thing as miracle healing soil, Ivan Sanderson said it best in his 1965 book entitled Ivan Sanderson’s Book of Great Jungles.

Sanderson grew up with a natural inclination towards adventure and learning. He hailed from Scotland but spent much [...] Read more →

Cleaner for Gilt Picture Frames

Cleaner for Gilt Frames.

Calcium hypochlorite…………..7 oz. Sodium bicarbonate……………7 oz. Sodium chloride………………. 2 oz. Distilled water…………………12 oz.

 

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Gold and Economic Freedom

by Alan Greenspan, 1967

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense-perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument [...] Read more →

Of Decorated Furniture

DECORATED or “sumptuous” furniture is not merely furniture that is expensive to buy, but that which has been elaborated with much thought, knowledge, and skill. Such furniture cannot be cheap, certainly, but the real cost of it is sometimes borne by the artist who produces rather than by the man who may [...] Read more →

A Cure for Distemper in Dogs

 

The following cure was found written on a front flyleaf in an 1811 3rd Ed. copy of The Sportsman’s Guide or Sportsman’s Companion: Containing Every Possible Instruction for the Juvenille Shooter, Together with Information Necessary for the Experienced Sportsman by B. Thomas.

 

Transcript:

Vaccinate your dogs when young [...] Read more →

The First Greek Book by John Williams White

Click here to read The First Greek Book by John Williams White

The First Greek Book - 15.7MB

IN MEMORIAM

JOHN WILLIAMS WHITE

The death, on May 9, of John Williams White, professor of Greek in Harvard University, touches a large number of classical [...] Read more →

The Cremation of Sam McGee

Robert W. Service (b.1874, d.1958)

 

There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night [...] Read more →

Indian Modes of Hunting – Musquash

Hudson Bay: Trappers, 1892. N’Talking Musquash.’ Fur Trappers Of The Hudson’S Bay Company Talking By A Fire. Engraving After A Drawing By Frederic Remington, 1892.

Indian Modes of Hunting.

IV.—Musquash.

In Canada and the United States, the killing of the little animal known under the several names of [...] Read more →

The Hoochie Coochie Hex

From Dr. Marvel’s 1929 book entitled Hoodoo for the Common Man, we find his infamous Hoochie Coochie Hex.

What follows is a verbatim transcription of the text:

The Hoochie Coochie Hex should not be used in conjunction with any other Hexes. This can lead to [...] Read more →

The Preparation of Marketable Vinegar

It is unnecessary to point out that low-grade fruit may often be used to advantage in the preparation of vinegar. This has always been true in the case of apples and may be true with other fruit, especially grapes. The use of grapes for wine making is an outlet which [...] Read more →

Producing and Harvesting Tobacco Seed

THE FIRST step in producing a satisfactory crop of tobacco is to use good seed that is true to type. The grower often can save his own seed to advantage, if he wants to.

Before topping is done, he should go over the tobacco field carefully to pick [...] Read more →

A General Process for Making Wine

A General Process for Making Wine.

Gathering the Fruit Picking the Fruit Bruising the Fruit Vatting the Fruit Vinous Fermentation Drawing the Must Pressing the Must Casking the Must Spirituous Fermentation Racking the Wine Bottling and Corking the Wine Drinking the Wine

GATHERING THE FRUIT.

It is of considerable consequence [...] Read more →

Country House Christmas Pudding

Country House Christmas Pudding

Ingredients

1 cup Christian Bros Brandy ½ cup Myer’s Dark Rum ½ cup Jim Beam Whiskey 1 cup currants 1 cup sultana raisins 1 cup pitted prunes finely chopped 1 med. apple peeled and grated ½ cup chopped dried apricots ½ cup candied orange peel finely chopped 1 ¼ cup [...] Read more →

Cocktails and Canapés

From The How and When, An Authoritative reference reference guide to the origin, use and classification of the world’s choicest vintages and spirits by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco. The Marco name is of a Chicago family that were involved in all aspects of the liquor business and ran Marco’s Bar [...] Read more →

Guaranteed 6% Dividend for Life. Any takers?

Any prudent investor would jump at the chance to receive a guaranteed 6% dividend for life. So how does one get in on this action?

The fact of the matter is…YOU can’t…That is unless you are a shareholder of one of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks and the banks under [...] Read more →

Carpet Cleaner Formulae

The Ardabil Carpet – Made in the town of Ardabil in north-west Iran, the burial place of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, ancestor of Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722). While the exact origins of the carpet are unclear, it’s believed to have [...] Read more →

Sir Joshua Reynolds – Notes from Rome

“The Leda, in the Colonna palace, by Correggio, is dead-coloured white and black, with ultramarine in the shadow ; and over that is scumbled, thinly and smooth, a warmer tint,—I believe caput mortuum. The lights are mellow ; the shadows blueish, but mellow. The picture is painted on panel, in [...] Read more →

The Character of a Happy Life

How happy is he born and taught. That serveth not another’s will; Whose armour is his honest thought, And simple truth his utmost skill

Whose passions not his masters are; Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the world by care Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance [...] Read more →

Proper Wines to Serve with Food

Foie gras with Sauternes, Photo by Laurent Espitallier

As an Appetizer

Pale dry Sherry, with or without bitters, chilled or not. Plain or mixed Vermouth, with or without bitters. A dry cocktail.

With Oysters, Clams or Caviar

A dry flinty wine such as Chablis, Moselle, Champagne. Home Top of [...] Read more →

Harry Houdini Investigates the Spirit World

The magician delighted in exposing spiritualists as con men and frauds.

By EDMUND WILSON June 24, 1925

Houdini is a short strong stocky man with small feet and a very large head. Seen from the stage, his figure, with its short legs and its pugilist’s proportions, is less impressive than at close [...] Read more →

Artist Methods

Como dome facade – Pliny the Elder – Photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Work in Progress…

THE VARNISHES.

Every substance may be considered as a varnish, which, when applied to the surface of a solid body, gives it a permanent lustre. Drying oil, thickened by exposure to the sun’s heat or [...] Read more →

List of the 60 Franklin Library Signed Limited Editions

The following highly collectible Franklin Library Signed Editions were published between 1977 and 1982. They are all fully leather bound with beautiful covers and contain gorgeous and rich silk moire endpapers. Signatures are protected by unattached tissue inserts.

The values listed are average prices that were sought by [...] Read more →

Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria. A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant [...] Read more →

King Lear

Edwin Austin Abbey. King Lear, Act I, Scene I (Cordelia’s Farewell) The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dates: 1897-1898 Dimensions: Height: 137.8 cm (54.25 in.), Width: 323.2 cm (127.24 in.) Medium: Painting – oil on canvas

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A Creative Approach to Saving Ye Olde Cassette Tapes

Quite possibly, the most agonizing decision being made by Baby Boomers across the nation these days is what to do with all that vintage Hi-fi equipment and boxes full of classic rock and roll cassettes and 8-Tracks.

I faced this dilemma head-on this past summer as I definitely wanted in [...] Read more →

Slaughter in Bombay

From Allen’s Indian Mail, December 3rd, 1851

BOMBAY. MUSULMAN FANATICISM.

On the evening of November 15th, the little village of Mahim was the scene of a murder, perhaps the most determined which has ever stained the annals of Bombay. Three men were massacred in cold blood, in a house used [...] Read more →

King William III on Horseback by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Reprint from The Royal Collection Trust website:

Kneller was born in Lubeck, studied with Rembrandt in Amsterdam and by 1676 was working in England as a fashionable portrait painter. He painted seven British monarchs (Charles II, James II, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I and George II), though his [...] Read more →

Napoleon’s Pharmacists

NAPOLEON’S PHARMACISTS.

Of the making of books about Napoleon there is no end, and the centenary of his death (May 5) is not likely to pass without adding to the number, but a volume on Napoleon”s pharmacists still awaits treatment by the student in this field of historical research. There [...] Read more →

Target Practice

Nov. 12, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 396

The Veterans to the Front.

Ironton. O., Oct. 28.—Editor Forest and Stream: I mail you a target made here today by Messrs. E. Lawton, G. Rogers and R. S. Dupuy. Mr. Dupuy is seventy-four years old, Mr. Lawton seventy-two. Mr. Rogers [...] Read more →

Birth of United Fruit Company

From Conquest of the Tropics by Frederick Upham Adams

Chapter VI – Birth of the United Fruit Company

Only those who have lived in the tropic and are familiar with the hazards which confront the cultivation and marketing of its fruits can readily understand [...] Read more →

Modern Slow Cookers, A Critical Design Flaw

Modern slow cookers come in all sizes and colors with various bells and whistles, including timers and shut off mechanisms. They also come with a serious design flaw, that being the lack of a proper domed lid.

The first photo below depict a popular model Crock-Pot® sold far and wide [...] Read more →

The Black Grouper or Jewfish.

 

Nov. 5. 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 371-372

The Black Grouper or Jewfish.

New Smyrna, Fla., Oct. 21.—Editor Forest and Stream:

It is not generally known that the fish commonly called jewfish. warsaw and black grouper are frequently caught at the New Smyrna bridge [...] Read more →

CIA 1950s Unevaluated UFO Intelligence

 

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

INROMATION FROM FOREIGN DOCUMENT OR RADIO BROADCASTS COUNTRY: Non-Orbit SUBJECT: Military – Air – Scientific – Aeronautics HOW PUBLISHED: Newspapers WHERE PUBLISHED: As indicated DATE PUBLISHED: 12 Dec 1953 – 12 Jan 1954 LANGUAGE: Various SOURCE: As indicated REPORT NO. 00-W-30357 DATE OF INFORMATION: 1953-1954 DATE DIST. 27 [...] Read more →

The Real Time Piece Gentleman and the Digital Watch Vault

Paul Thorpe, Brighton, U.K.

The YouTube watch collecting world is rather tight-knit and small, but growing, as watches became a highly coveted commodity during the recent world-wide pandemic and fueled an explosion of online watch channels.

There is one name many know, The Time Piece Gentleman. This name for me [...] Read more →

A Couple of Classic Tennessee Squirrel Recipes

FRIED SQUIRREL & BISCUIT GRAVY

3-4 Young Squirrels, dressed and cleaned 1 tsp. Morton Salt or to taste 1 tsp. McCormick Black Pepper or to taste 1 Cup Martha White All Purpose Flour 1 Cup Hog Lard – Preferably fresh from hog killing, or barbecue table

Cut up three to [...] Read more →

Something about Caius College, Cambridge

Gate of Honour, Caius Court, Gonville & Caius

Gonville & Caius College, known as Caius and pronounced keys was founded in 1348 by Edmund Gonville, the Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk. The first name was thus Goville Hall and it was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. [...] Read more →

A Summer Memory

 

Here, where these low lush meadows lie, We wandered in the summer weather, When earth and air and arching sky, Blazed grandly, goldenly together.

And oft, in that same summertime, We sought and roamed these self-same meadows, When evening brought the curfew chime, And peopled field and fold with shadows.

I mind me [...] Read more →

Tuna and Tarpon

July, 16, l898 Forest and Stream Pg. 48

Tuna and Tarpon.

New York, July 1.—Editor Forest and Stream: If any angler still denies the justice of my claim, as made in my article in your issue of July 2, that “the tuna is the grandest game [...] Read more →