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First, then, they should be big. Next, the head should be light, flat1 and muscular; the lower parts of the forehead sinewy; the eyes prominent, black and sparkling; the forehead broad, with a deep dividing line; the ears small and thin with little hair behind; the neck long, loose and round; the chest broad and fairly fleshy; the shoulder-blades slightly outstanding from the shoulders; the forelegs short, straight, round and firm; the elbows straight2; the ribs not low down on the ground,3 but sloping in an oblique line; the loins fleshy, of medium length, and neither too loose nor too hard; the flanks of medium size; the hips round and fleshy at the back, not close at the top, and smooth on the inside4; the under part of the belly itself slim; the tail long, straight and thin; the thighs hard; the shanks5 long, round and solid; the hind-legs much longer than the fore-legs and slightly bent; the feet round. [2] Hounds like these will be strong in appearance, agile, well-proportioned, and speedy; and they will have a jaunty expression and a good mouth. [3]

When tracking they should get out of the game paths quickly, hold their heads well down and aslant, smiling when they find the scent and lowering their ears; then they should all go forward together along the trail towards the form circling frequently,6 with eyes continually on the move and tails wagging. [4] As soon as they are close on the hare, they should let the huntsman know, quickening the pace and showing more emphatic signs by their excitement, movements of the head and eyes, changes of attitude, by looking up and looking into the covert and returning again and again to the hare's form, by leaps forward, backward and to the side, displays of unaffected agitation and overpowering delight at being near the hare. [5]

They should pursue with unremitting vigour, giving tongue and barking freely, dogging the hare's steps wherever she goes. They should be fast and brilliant in the chase, frequently casting about and giving tongue in the right fashion; and they should not leave the track and go back to the huntsman. [6]

Along with this appearance and behaviour they should have pluck, keen noses, sound feet and good coats. They will be plucky if they don't leave the hunting-ground when the heat is oppressive; keen-nosed if they smell the hare on bare, parched and sunny ground in the dog days7; sound in the feet if at the same season their feet are not torn to bits during a run in the mountains; they will have a good coat if the hair is fine, thick and soft. [7] The colour of the hounds should not be entirely tawny, black or white; for this is not a sign of good breeding: on the contrary, unbroken colour indicates a wild strain. [8] So the tawny and the black hounds should show a patch of white about the face, and the white hounds a tawny patch. At the top of the thighs the hair should be straight and thick, and on the loins and at the lower end of the tail, but it should be moderately thick higher up. [9]

It is advisable to take the hounds to the mountains often, but less frequently to cultivated land. For in the mountains it is possible to track and follow a hare without hindrance, whereas it is impossible to do either in cultivated land owing to the game paths. [10]

It is also well to take the hounds out into rough ground, whether they find a hare or not; for they get sound in the feet, and hard work in such country is good for their bodies. [11] In summer they should be out till midday, in winter at any hour of the day, in autumn at any time except midday, and before evening during the spring; for at these times the temperature is mild.

1 In profile.

2 i.e., not bent inwards or outwards.

3 So Pollux read, for he says μὴ πρὸς τὴν γῆν βαθυνομένας. The sense is then that the ribs are not to be low on the ground when the hound is couchant, but well tucked up behind. ἐπίπαν βαθείας, “deep throughout,” would apply to the depth from wall to wall, and the meaning would be that the ribs are to contract towards the flanks.

4 i.e., without folds in the coat towards the loins.

5 From the elbows to the feet.

6 A participle to govern κύκλους πολλοὺς has dropped out of the text.

7 The older commentators are probably right in understanding the allusion to be to the Dog-star, not to the Sun.

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