way home, believing myself unequal to the probable run; but the chase commenced, and I was in the midst of it; and, being excellently mounted, nearly at the head of it. Never did I see such a scamper; and never did it enter into my head that horses could be pushed to such speed in such places. We dashed through and over bushes, leaping broad ditches, splashing in brooks and mud, and passing over fences as so many imaginary lines. My first fence I shall not readily forget. I was near Lord Milton, who was mounted on a thoroughbred horse. He cleared a fence before him. My horse pawed the ground and neighed. I gave him the rein, and he cleared the fence: as I was up in the air for one moment, how was I startled to look down and see that there was not only a fence but a ditch! He cleared the ditch too. I have said it was my first experiment. I lost my balance, was thrown to the very ears of the horse, but in some way or other contrived to work myself back to the saddle without touching the ground (vide some of the hunting pictures of leaps, &c.). How I got back I cannot tell; but I did regain my seat, and my horse was at a run in a moment. All this, you will understand, passed in less time by far than it will take to read this account. One moment we were in a scamper through a ploughed field, another over a beautiful pasture, and another winding through the devious paths of a wood. I think I may say that in no single day of my life did I ever take so much exercise. I have said that I mounted at nine and a half o'clock. It wanted twenty minutes of five when I finally dismounted, not having been out of the saddle more than thirty seconds during all this time, and then only to change my horse, taking a fresh one from a groom who was in attendance. During much of this time we were on a full run. The next day had its incidents. The place of meeting for the hounds was about fourteen miles from the house. Our horses were previously led thither by grooms, and we rode there in a carriage and four, with outriders, and took our horses fresh. This day I met with a fall. The country was very rough, and the fences often quite stiff and high. I rode among the foremost, and in going over a fence and a brook together, came to the ground. My horse cleared them both; and I cleared him, for I went directly over his head. Of course he started off, but was soon caught by Milton and a parson, who had already made the leap successfully. I should not fail to commemorate the feats of the clergymen, as they illustrate the position of this body in England. The best and hardest rider in this part of the country is reputed to be a clergyman; and there was not a day that I was out that I did not see three or four persons rejoicing in the style of ‘Reverend,’ and distinguishable from the rest of the habitues by wearing a black instead of a red coat. They were among the foremost in every field, and cleared fences with great ease. Once we came to a very stiff rail fence; and, as the hounds were not in full cry, there was a general stop to see how the different horses and riders would take it. Many were afraid, and several horses refused it. Soon, however, the Rev. Mr. Nash, a clergyman of some fifty years, came across the field; and the cry was raised, ‘Hurrah for Nash! now for Nash!’ I need not say that he went over it easily. It was the Rev. Mr. Nash who caught my horse. Change the scene
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
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