Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/387

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293
LEECH IN THE HUNTING FIELD.

and a frequent attendant at the "Pytchley," when he went a day's hunting it was his custom to single out some fellow disciple of Nimrod that happened to take his fancy, keeping behind him all day, noting his attitudes in the saddle, and marking every item of his turn-out, to the last button and button-hole of his hunting coat. It was in this way that he obtained the correctness of detail which renders his famous sporting etchings so wonderfully true to nature. Strange to say, notwithstanding his knowledge of every detail of the huntsman's dress, even to the number of buttons on his coat, he himself, with reference to his own outfit, invariably presented in the hunting field a somewhat incongruous appearance. Either he would wear the wrong kind of boots, or would dispense with some detail which on the part of an enthusiast would be considered an unpardonable omission. Leech, however, was not what is called a "rough rider," his constitutional nervousness prevented him indeed from making a prominent figure in the hunting field, and his friends attributed this want of attention to detail in dress to his sensitiveness to criticism, and his unwillingness to place himself in any position which would be likely to incur it.