Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/41

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21
THE ELIZABETHAN CHARACTER

and the force and experience of the bear again to avoid his assaults if he were bitten in one place, how he would pinch in another to get free; that if he were taken once, then by what shift with biting, with clawing, with roaring, with tossing, and trembling, he would work and wind himself from them; and, when he was loose, to shake his ears twice or thrice with the blood and slaver hanging about his physiognomy."

A few additional details of the sport are given in the following contemporary description of a bull-baiting. "They tie a rope to the foot of the ox or bull, and fasten the other end of the cord to an iron ring fixed in a stake, driven into the ground; so that this cord, being 15 foot long, the bull is confined to a sphere about thirty foot diameter. Several butchers or other gentlemen who are desirous to exercise their dogs, stand round about, each holding his own by the ears; and when the sport begins, they let loose one of the dogs; the dog runs at the bull; the bull immovable looks down upon the dog with an eye of scorn, and only turns a horn to him to hinder him from coming near; the dog is not daunted at this, he runs round him and tries to get beneath his belly, in order to seize him by the muzzle, the dewlap, or the pendant glands. The bull then puts himself into a posture of defence; he beats the ground with his feet, which