Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Hunting Sketches Anthony Trollope

The Hunting Parson

Page 2 of 4

Table Of Contents: Hunting Sketches

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

But of all the amusements which a layman may follow and a clergyman may not, hunting is thought to be by much the worst. There is a savour of wickedness about it in the eyes of the old ladies which almost takes it out of their list of innocent amusements even for laymen. By the term old ladies it will be understood, perhaps, that I do not allude simply to matrons and spinsters who may be over the age of sixty, but to that most respectable portion of the world which has taught itself to abhor the pomps and vanities. Pomps and vanities are undoubtedly bad, and should be abhorred; but it behooves those who thus take upon themselves the duties of censors to be sure that the practices abhorred are in truth real pomps and actual vanities, not pomps and vanities of the imagination. Now as to hunting, I maintain that it is of itself the most innocent amusement going, and that it has none of that Cider-Cellar flavour with which the old ladies think that it is so savoury. Hunting is done by a crowd; but men who meet together to do wicked things meet in small parties. Men cannot gamble in the hunting-field, and drinking there is more difficult than in almost any other scene of life. Anonyma, as we were told the other day, may show herself; but if so, she rides alone. The young man must be a brazen sinner, too far gone for hunting to hurt him, who will ride with Anonyma in the field. I know no vice which hunting either produces or renders probable, except the vice of extravagance; and to that, if a man be that way given, every pursuit in life will equally lead him A seat for a Metropolitan borough, or a love of ortolans, or a taste even for new boots will ruin a man who puts himself in the way of ruin. The same may be said of hunting, the same and no more.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

But not the less is the general feeling very strong against the hunting parson; and not the less will it remain so in spite of anything that I may say. Under these circumstances our friend the hunting parson usually rides as though he were more or less under a cloud. The cloud is not to be seen in a melancholy brow or a shamed demeanour; for the hunting parson will have lived down those feelings, and is generally too forcible a man to allow himself to be subjected to such annoyances; nor is the cloud to be found in any gentle tardiness of his motions, or an attempt at suppressed riding; for the hunting parson generally rides hard. Unless he loved hunting much he would not be there. But the cloud is to be perceived and heard in the manner in which he speaks of himself and his own doings. He is never natural in his self-talk as is any other man. He either flies at his own cloth at once, marring some false apology for his presence, telling you that he is there just to see the hounds, and hinting to you his own know ledge that he has no business to ride after them; or else he drops his profession altogether, and speaks to you in a tone which makes you feel that you would not dare to speak to him about his parish. You can talk to the banker about his banking, the brewer about his brewing, the farmer about his barley, or the landlord about his land; but to a hunting parson of this latter class, you may not say a word about his church.

Page 2 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Hunting Sketches
Anthony Trollope

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004