Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/162

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pertaining to the art, one of which has recently been reprinted in facsimilie: The Boke of Saint Albans.

Hunting.—Of all outdoor games the Elizabethans best loved the great stag hunt. This grand occasion was generally made the excuse for festive merry-makings on a large scale both before and after the day's sport. The preliminary and formal process of locating the position of the stag before he was hunted took place either during the night in advance of the hunt or in the early morning hours of the hunt day itself. Not every animal, however, was suited to the occasion. The beasts of the chase were divided into two classes, thus: On one hand were the beasts of the forest, including the hart, the hind, the hare, the boar, and the wolf, who fed by night and lay in cover during the day; on the other hand were the beasts of the field, who lay secret at night, including the buck, the doe, the fox, the marten, and the roe. The hart, therefore, being a beast of the forest, must be harboured, or located while he was abroad in search of food at night.

It was the duty of the forester and of the huntsman to scour the country during the night before the hunt in order to discover the stag while he was feeding, and to follow him unper-