Every-Day Book
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October 15

St. Teresa, Virgin, A. D. 1582. St. Tecla, Abbess. St. Hospicius, or Hospis, A. D. 580.

Scent of Dogs, and Tobacco.

A contemporary kalendarian*[1] appears to be an early smoker and a keen sportsman. He says, "From having constantly amused ourselves with our pipe early in the morning, we have discovered and are enabled to point out an almost infalliable [sic] method of judging of good scent. When the tobacco smoke seems to hang lazily in the air, scarcely sinking or rising, or moving from the place where it is emitted from the pipe, producing at the same time a strong smell, which lasts some time in the same place after the smoke is apparently dispersed, we may on that day be sure that the scent will lay well. We have seldom known this rule to deceive; but it must be remembered that the state of the air will sometimes change in the course of the day, and that the scent will drop all of a sudden, and thus throw the hounds all out, and break off the chase abruptly. For as Sommerville says:—

         Thus on on the air
Depend the hunter's hopes. When ruddy streaks
At eve forbode a blustering stormy day,
Or lowering clouds blacken the mountain's brow,
When nipping frosts, and the keen biting blasts
Of the dry parching east, menace the trees
With tender blossoms teeming, kindly spare
Thy sleeping pack, in their warm beds of straw
Low sinking at their ease; listless they shrink
Into some dark recess, nor hear thy voice
Though oft invoked; or haply if thy call
Rouse up the slumbering tribe, with heavy eyes
Glazed, lifeless, dull, downward they drop their tails
Inverted; high on their bent backs erect
Their pointed bristles stare, or 'mong the tufts
Of ranker weeds, each stomach-healing plant
Curious they crop, sick, spiritless, forlorn.
These inauspicious days, on other cares
Employ thy precious hours.


Sweet Sultan. Centaurea moschi.
Dedicated to St. Teresa.

Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Dr. Forster. [return]