Sunday, December 03, 2006

05Feb1862, Fox Hunting at Althorp

ALTHORP, Wednesday, February 5th, 1862.
—Delightful day. Althorp mounted me on a nice, spirited, high-stepping little horse called Friar Tuck, and (driving to West Haddon) I joined Tallee and we went to the great meet at Crick. There must have been nearly 300 — I didn't see the fox go away ; but it was almost as beautiful to see the sudden unanimous start of the whole field, without apparent cause, and away we streamed at a gallop. But alack ! Tallee's horse wdn't take the mildest ditch even, so we came to a stop in the 2nd field, not however before freely enjoying the glorious start, and seeing many leaps, and more than one tumble. It didn't much signify, for anyhow we were not going to follow any distance. So we resigned ourselves with tolerable philosophy, and had about given up hope, after quite losing them and having half an hour's meandering in the field, when suddenly we came right upon them again, followed during a nice little run (with gates handy !), saw some lovely leaps, and at last left them of our own accord, to be in time for Guilsborough luncheon. Saw Lord Fending and Col. (W.) Feilding, the latter of whom had a tremendous tumble. Unlucky Mr. Horace Seymour was thrown early in the day, and his horse, running away and leaping a high fence, pitched on his head and broke his neck ! Papa in his glory on a gigantic, powerful creature called Shamrock more than 16 hds high, rode over everything, tho' not as perfect as on Marmion ! Nice talk the while with Tallee, and at Guilsborough saw At. Yaddy and the tinies, they grown but looking rather delicate, but Vay improved in looks. Granny showed me the most piteous heart-broken letter, which she has received from the Queen, who has sent her a miniature photograph of the Prince in a brooch. Letter from John. Pleasant playing and whist in the evening.

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