Open main menu

The first Section of this discourse.


¶ The Preamble or entraunce, into this treatise.

I Wrote unto you (well beloued friend Gesner) not many yeares past, a manyfolde historie, contayning the diuers formes and figurs of Beastes, Byrdes, and Fyshes, the sundry shapes of plantes, and the fashions of Hearbes, &c.

I wrote moreouer, vnto you seuerally, a certaine abridgement of Dogges, which in your discourse vpon the fourmes of Beastes in the seconde order of mylde and tameable Beastes, where you make mencion of Scottishe Dogges, and in the winding vp of your Letter written and directed to Doctour Turner, comprehending a Catalogue or rehersall of your bookes not yet extant, you promised to set forth in print, and openly to publishe in the face of the worlde among such your workes as are not yet come abroade to lyght and sight. But, because certaine circumstaunces were wanting in my breuary of Englishe Dogges (as seemed vnto mee), I stayed the publication of the same, making promise to send another abroade, which myght be commytted to the handes, the eyes, the eares, the mindes, and the iudgements of the Readers. Wherefore that I myght perfourme that preciselye which I promised solempnly, accomplishe my determination, and satisfy your expectacion: which art a man desirous and capeable of all kinde of knowledge, and very earnest to be acquainted with all experimentes: I wyll expresse and declare in due order, the grand and generall kinde of English Dogges, the difference of them, the vse, the propertyes and the diuerse natures of the same, making a tripartite diuision in this sort and maner.

All English Dogges be eyther of, A gentle kinde, seruing the game.
A homely kind, apt for sundry necessary vses.
A currishe kinde, meete for many toyes.

Of these three sortes or kindes so meane I to entreate, that the first in the first place, the last in the last roome, and the myddle sort in the middle seate be handled. I cal thē vniuersally all by the name of Englishe dogges, as well because England only, as it hath in it English dogs, so it is not without Scottishe, as also for that wee are more inclined and delighted with the noble game of hnnting, for we Englishmen are adicted and giuen to thet exercise, and painefull pastime of pleasure, as well for the plenty of fleshe which our Parkes and Forests doe foster, as also for the opertunitie and conuenient leisure which wee obtaine, both which, the Scottes want. Wherefore seeing that the whole estate of kindly hunting consisteth principally,

In these two pointes, In chasing the beast
In taking the byrde
that is in hunting
fowleing

It is necessary and requisite to vnderstand, that there ate two sortes of Dogges by whose meanes, the feates within specifyed are wrought, and these practyces of actiuetie cunningly and curiously compassed.

Two kindes of Dogges One which rouseth the beast and continueth the chase.
Another which spryngeth the byrde and bewrayeth flight by pursuite,

Both which kyndes are tearmed of the Latines by one common name that is, Canes Venatici, hunting dogges. But beause we Englishe men make a difference betweene hunting and fowleing, for that they are called by these seuerall wordes, Venatio & Aucupium, so they tearme the Dogges whom they vse in these sundry games by diuers names, as those which serue for the beast, are called Venatici, the other which are vsed for the fowle are called Aucupatoij.

The first kind called Venatici I diuide into fiue sorts. The first in perfect smelling
The second in quicke spying
The thirde in swiftnesse and quicknesse
The fourth in smeling & nymblenesse
The fifte in subtiltie and deceitfulnesse,
Excelleth.

Of the Dogge called a Harrier, in Latine Leuerarius.

THat kinde of dogge whom nature hath indued with the vertue of smelling, whose property it is to vse a lustines, a readines, and a courageousnes in hunting, and draweth into his nostrells the ayre or sent of the beast pursued and followed, we call by this word Sagas, the Grecians ιχνευτιν of tracing or chasing by ȳ foote, or ςἳνυλατίν of the nostrells, which be the instrumentes of smelling. Wee may knowe these kinde of Doggea by their long, large, and bagging lippes, by their hanging eares, reachyng downe both sydes of their chappes, and by the indifferent and measurable proportion of their making. This sort of Dogges we call Leuararios Hariers, that I may comprise the whole nūber of them in certaine specialties, and apply to them their proper and peculier names, for so much as they cannot all be reduced and brought vnder one sorts, considering both the sundrye uses of them, and the difference of their seruice whereto they be appointed.

Some for The Hare
The Foxe
The Wolfe
The Harte
The Bucke
The Badger
The Otter
The Polcat
The Lobster
The Weasell
The Conny, &c.
Some for one thing and some for another.

As for the Conny, whom we haue lastly set downe, wee use not to hunt, but rather to take it, somtime with the nette sometime with the ferret, and thus euery seuerall sort is notable and excellent in his naturall qualitie and appointed practice. Among these sundry sortes, there be some which are apt to hunt two diuers beastes, as the Foxe otherwhiles, and other whiles the Hare, but they hunt not with such towardnes and good lucke after them, as they doe that whereunto nature hath formed and framed them, not onely in externall composition & making, but also inward faculties and conditions, for they swarue sometimes, and doe otherwise then they should.

Of the Dogge called Terrar, in Latine Terrarius.

ANother sorte there is which hunteth the Foxe and the Badger or Greye onely, whom we call Terrars, because they (after the manner and custome of ferrets in searching for Connyes) creepe into the grounde, and by that meanes make afrayde, nyppe, and byte the Foxe and the Badger in such sort, that eyther they teare them in pieces with theyr teeth beyng in the bosome of the earth, or else hayle and pull them perforce out of their lurking angles, darke dongeons, and close caves, or at the least through cōceued feare, drine them out of their hollow harbours, in so much that they are compelled to prepare speedy flight, and being desirous of the next (albeit not the safest) refuge, are otherwise taken and intrapped with snares and nettes layde oner holes to the same purpose. But these be the least in that kynde called Sagax.

Of the Dogge called a Bloudhounde in Latine Sanguinarius.

THe greater sort which serue to hunt, hauing lippes of a large syze & eares of no small lenght, doo, not onely chase the beast whiles it liueth (as the other doo of whom mencion aboue is made) but beyng dead also by any maner of casualtie, make recourse to the place where it lyeth, hauing in this poynt an assured and infallible guyde, namely, the sent and sauour of the bloud sprinckled heere and there vpon the ground. For whether the beast beyng wounded, doth notwithstanding enioye life, and escapeth the handes of the huntesman, or whether the said beast beyng slayne is conuayed clenly out of the parcke (so that there be some signification of bloud shed) these Dogges with no lesse facilitie and easinesse, then auiditie and greedinesse, can disclose and bewray the same by smelling, applying to their pursuit, agilitie and nimblenesse, withont tediousnesse, for which consideration, of a singuler specialitie they deserued to bee called Sanguinarij bloudhounds. And albeit peraduenture it may chaunce, (As whether it chaunceth sealdome or sometime I am ignorant) that a peece of fleshe be subtily stolne and conningly conuayed away with such prouisos and precaueats as thereby all apparaunce of bloud is eyther preuented, excluded, or concealed, yet these kinde of dogges by a certaine direcion of an inwarde assured notyce and priuy marcke, pursue the deede dooers, through long lanes, crooked reaches, and weary wayes, without wandring awry out of the limites of the land whereon those desperate purloyners prepared their speedy passage. Yea, the natures of these Dogges is such, and so effectuall is their foresight, that they cā bewray, seperate, and pycke them out from among an infinite multitude and an innumerable company, creepe they neuer so farre into the thickest thronge, they will finde him out notwithstandyng he lye hidden in wylde woods, in close and ouergrowen groues, and lurcke in hollow holes apte to harbour such vngracious guestes. Moreouer, although they should passe ouer the water, thinking thereby to auoyde the pursute of the houndes, yet will not these dogges giue ouer their attempt, but presuming to swym through the streame, perseuer in their pursute, and when they be arriued and gotten the furthen bancke, they hunt vp and downe, to and fro runne they, from place to place shift they, vntil they haue attained to that plot of grounde where they passed ouer. And this is their practise, if perdie they cānot at y' first time smelling, finde out the way which the deede dooers tooke to escape. So at length get they that by arte, cunning, and dilligent indeuour, which by fortune and lucke they cannot otherwyse ouercome. In so much that it seemeth worthely and wisely written by Ælianus in his firte book and xxxiv. Chapter. Τὸενθνμντιχον χαιδιαι ενχτιχ. to bee as it were naturally instilled and powered into these kinde of dogges. For they wyll not pause or breath from their pursute vntill such tyme as they bee apprehended and taken that committed the facte. The owners of such houndes vse to keepe them in close and darke channells in the day time, and let them lose at liberty in the night season, to th'intent that they myght with more courage and boldnesse practise to follow the fellon in the euening and solitarie houres of darkenesse, when such yll disposed varlots are principally purposed to play theyr impudent pageants, and imprudent pranckea. These houndes (vpon whom this present portion of our treatise runneth) when they are to follow such fellowes as we haue before rehersed, vse not that liberty to raunge at wil, which they have otherwise when they are in game (except upon necessary occasion, whereon dependeth an urgent an effectuall perswasion), when such purloyners make spædy way in flight, but beyng restrained and drawne backe from running at random with the leasse, the ende whereof the owner holding in his hand is led, guyded and directed with such swiftenesse and slownesse (whether he go on foote or whether he ryde on horsebacke), as he himselfe in harte would wishe for the more easie apprehension of these venturous varlots. In the borders of England and Scotland (the often and accustomed stealing of cattell so procuring) these kinde of Dogges are very much vsed and they are taught and trayned up first of all to hunt cattell as well of the smaller as of the greater grouth, and afterwardes (that qualitie relinquished and lefte) they are learned to pursue such pestilent persons as plant theyr pleasure in such practises of purloyning as we have already declared. Of this kinde there is nene that taketh the water naturally, except it please you so to suppose of them whych follow the Otter, whych sometimes haunte the lande, and sometime useth the water. And yet neuerthelesse all the kind of them boyling and boyling with greedy desire of the pray which by swymming passeth through riuer and flood, plung amyds the water, and passe the streame with their pawes. But this propertie proceedeth from an earnest desire wherwith they be inflamed, rather then from any inclination issuyng from the ordinance and appoyntment of nature. And albeit some of this sort in English be called Brache, in Scottishe Rache, the cause hereof resteth in the shee sex and not in the generall kinde, for we English men call bytches belonging to the hunting kinde of Dogges, by the tearme aboue mencioned. To bee short it is proper to the nature of houndes, some to keepe silence in hunting untill such tyme as there is game offered. Other some so soone as they smell out the place where the beast lurcketh, to bewray it immediately by their importunate barcking, notwithstanding it be farre of many furlongs cowchyng close in his cabbyn. And these Dogges the younger they be, the more wantonly barcke they, and the more liberally, yet oftimes without necessitie, so that in them, by reason of theyr young yeares and want of practise, small certaintie is to be reposed. For continuance of tyme, and experience in game, ministreth to these houndes not onely cunning in running, but also (as in the rest) an assured foresight what is to bee done, principally, being acquainted with their masters watchwordes, eyther in reuoking or imboldening them to serue the game.

Of the Dogge called the Gasehounde, in Latine Agaseus.

THis kinde of Dogge which pursueth by the eye, preuayleth little, or neuer a whit, by any benefite of the nose that is by smelling, but excelleth in perspicuitie and sharpenesse of sight altogether, by the vertue whereof, being singuler and notable, it hunteth the Foxe and the Hare. Thys Dogge will choose and seperate any beast from among a great flocke or hearde, and such a one will it take by election as is not lancke, leane and hollow, but well spyed, smoothe, full, fatte, and round, it foUowes by the direction of the eyesight, which in deede is cleere constant, and not uncertaine, if a beast be wounded and gone astray this Dogge seeketh after it by the steadfastnes of the eye, if it chaunce peraduenture to returne and be mingled with the residue of the flocke, this Dogge spyeth it out by the vertue of his eye, leaning the rest of the cattell vntouched, and after he hath set sure sight upō it, he seperateth it from among the company and hauing so done neuer ceaseth untill he haue wearyed the Beast to death. Our countrey men call this dogge Agasœum. A gasehounde because the beames of his sight are so stedfastly setled and vnmoueably fastened. These Dogges are much and vsually occupyed in the Northern partes of England more then in the Southern parts, and in fealdy landes rather then in bushy and wooddy places, horsemen vse them more then footemen to th'intent that they might prouoke their horses to a swift galloppe (wherwith they are more delighted then with the pray it selfe), and that they might accustome theyr horse to leape ouer hedges and ditches, without stoppe or stumble, without harme or hassard, without doubt or daunger, and so escape with safegard of lyfe. And to the ende that the ryders themselues when necessitie so constrained, and the feare of further mischiefe inforced, myght saue themselues vndamnifyed, and preuent each perilous tempest by preparing speedy flight, or else by swift pursute made vpon theyr enimyes, myght both ouertake them, encounter with them, and make a slaughter of them accordingly. But if it fortune so at any time that this Dogge take a wrong way, the master making some vsual signe and familiar token, he returneth forthwith, and taketh the right and ready trace, beginning his chase a fresh, & with a cleare voyce, and a swift foote followeth the game with as much courage and nimblenesse as he did at the first.

Of the Dogge called the Grehounde, in Latine Leporarius.

THere is another kinde of Dogge which for his incredible swiftnesse is called Leporarius a Grehounde because the principall seruice of them dependeth and consisteth in starting and hunting the hare, which Dogges likewyse are indued with no lesse strength then lightnes in maintenance of the game, in seruing the chase, in taking the Bucke, the Harte, the Dowe, the Foxe, and other beastes of semblable kinde ordained for the game of hunting. But more or lesse, each one according to the measure and proportion of theyr desire, and as might and habilitie of theyr bodyes will permit and suffer. For it is a spare and bare kinde of Dogge, (of fleshe but not of bone) some are of a greater sorte, and some of a lesser, some are smooth skynned & some are curled, the bigger therefore are appoynted to hunt the bigger beasts, & the smaller serue to hunt the smaller accordingly. The nature of these dogges I find to be wonderful by y' testimoniall of histories. For, as John Froisart the Historiographer in his 4. lib. reporteth. A Grehound of King Richard, the second y' wore the Crowne and bare the Scepter of the Realme of England, neuer knowing any man, beside the Kings person, whē Henry Duke of Lancaster came to the castle of Flinte to take King Richarde. The Dogge forsaking his former Lord & master came to Duke Henry, fawned upon him with such resemblaunces of goodwyll and conceaued affection, as he fauoured King Richarde before: he followed the Duke, and vtterly left the King. So that by these manifest circumstances a man myght iudge this Dogge to haue bene lightened wyth the lampe of foreknowledge & vnderstāding, touchyng his olde masters miseryes to come, and vnhappinesse nye at hand, which King Richarde himselfe euidently perceaued, accounting this deede of his Dogge a Prophecy of his ouerthrowe.

Of the Dogge called the Leuiner, or Lyemmer in Latine Lorarius.

ANother sort of dogges be there, in smelling singuler, and in swiftenesse incomparable. This is (as it were) a myddle kinde betwixt the Harier and the Grehounde, as well for his kinde, as for the frame of his body. And it is called in latine Leuiniarius, a Leuitate, of lyghtnesse, and therefore may well be called a lyght hounde, it is also called by this worde Lorarius, a Loro, wherewith it is led. This Dogge for the excellency of his conditions, namely smelling and swift running, doth followe the game with more eagemes, and taketh the pray with a iolly quicknes.

Of the Dogge called a Tumbler, in Latine Vertagus.

THis sorte of Dogges, which compasseth all by craftes, fraudes, subtelties and deceiptes, we Englishe men call Tvmblers, because in hunting they turne and tumble, winding their bodyes about in circle wise, and then fearcely and violently venturing upō the beast, doth soddenly gripe it, at the very entrance and mouth of their receptacles, or closets before they can recouer meanes, to saue and succour themselves. This dogge vseth another craft and subteltie, namely, when he runneth into a warren, or setteth a course about a connyburrough, he huntes not after them, he frayes them not by barcking, he makes no countenance or shadow of hatred against them, but dissembling friendship, and pretending fauour, passeth by with silence and quietnesse, marking and noting their holes diligently, wherin (I warrant you) he will not be ouershot nor deceaued. When he commeth to the place where Connyes be, of a certaintie, he cowcheth downe close with his belly to the groud. Provided alwayes by his skill and polisie, that y' the winde bee neuer with him but against him in such an enterprise. And that the Connyes spie him not where he lurcketh. By which meanes he obtaineth the sent and sauour of the Connyes, carryed towardes him with the wind & the ayre, either going to their holes, or coming out, eyther passing this way, or running that way, and so prouideth by his circumspection, that the selly simple Conny is debarred quite from his hole (which is the hauen of their hope and the harbour of their health) and fraudulently circumuented and taken, before they can get the aduantage of their hole. Thus hauing caught his pray he carryeth it speedily to his Master, wayting his Dogges returne in some conuenient lurcking corner. These Dogges are somewhat lesser than the houndes, and they be lancker & leaner, beside that they be somwhat prick eared. A man that shall marke the forme and fashion of their bodyes, may well call them mungrell Grehoundes if they were somwhat bigger. But notwithstanding they counteruaile not the Grehound in greatnes, yet will he take in one dayes space as many Connyes as shall arise to as bigge a burthen, and as heauy a loade as a horse can carry, for deceipt and guile is the instrument wherby he maketh this spoyle, which pernicious properties supply the places of more commendable qualities.

Of the Dogge called the theeuishe Dogge in Latine Canis furax.

THe like to that whom we have rehearsed, is the theeuishe Dogge, which at the mandate and bydding of his master steereth and leereth abroade in the night, hunting Connyes by the ayre, which is leuened with their sauer and conueyed to the sense of smelling by the meanes of the winde blowing towardes him. During all which space of his hunting he will not barcke, least he shoulde bee preuidiciall to his owne aduantage. And thus watcheth and snatcheth up in course as many Connyes as his Master will suffer him, and beareth them to his Masters standing. The farmers of the countrey and uplandishe dwellers, call this kinde of Dogge a nyght curre, because he hunteth in the darke, But let thus much seeme sufficient for Dogges which serue the game, and disport of hunting.


¶ A Diall pertaining to the first Section.

Dogges seruing y' pastime of hunting beastes. are diuided into Hariers
Terrars
Bloudhounds
Gasehounds
Grehounds
Leuiners or Lyemmers
Tumblers
Stealers
In Latine called Venatici.