Saturday, November 25, 2006

31Jan1862, First Fox Hunt

NEWNHAM PADDOX, Friday, January 31st, 1862.
— A delightful and memorable day ! I went out hunting ! ! Ld. Denbigh and his sons and 2 daughters went and when they offered to mount me, and supply me with habit, etc., and old M. encouraged me, could anyone refuse ? No ! so off I went on a glorious old hunter of 21, called Marmion, his action free and beautiful, and his gallop like the South Wind, so easy, yet so rapid and strong. I saw the fox break away, I heard the music of the hounds, and horns and halloos, I careered along to the sound of the scampering hoofs with the delicious soft air blowing in my face. I flew over 2 or 3 fences, too enchanted to have a moment's fright ; in short, I galloped for 1/2 an hour in all the glory of a capital run. 0 dear ! if I don't take care I shall pine for it every time Papa goes out, and that won't do ! However, I had my sense enough about me to keep with Lady Ida (losing sight of the others, and no wonder, in a field of about 150), and when her saddle turned, her hat blew off, and she spoke of going home, I nobly went with her, tho' I cd have gone on for ever. But really I think it was the most glorious exciting enjoyment I have ever had ; and that says a good deal.

Some theatricals in the evening, which wd have been deplorably bad, but for Col. (William) Feilding's wonderfully good acting of an old Frenchman. I had a long sit with nice little Ly. Katharine, who spoke of their great grief, the conversion of Ld. Feilding, who is an enthusiastic Romanist ; 0 how awful a trial it must be !

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