Home Thoughts From Abroad
As the financial world collapses around us I have been happy living in other times. Deep in a drawer I found a Red Cross drawstring bag my father brought back from his time as a POW in Germany, crammed full of photos, postcards, his paybook etc. Among the items was this copied out and sent to him as a comfort from home.
The Ten Commandments of Fox-hunting by Mr Young
Article I Every man shall present himself at the place of meeting quietly, suitably clothed and in good time. He who rides his hunter steadily thereto is better than he who uses a hack. He who drives tandem for display or who uses any manner of engine or machine, except as a necessity, is an abomination.
Article II Every man shall first salute and speak words of comfort to the huntsman and whippers-in, knowing full well that they have hard work to perform.
He shall then count the hounds and examine them with great joy, but in a quiet manner. He shall then likewise cheerfully salute his friends. He that shall say the day will be a bad-scenting one, or in any manner endeavour to prophesy evil, is an abomination.
Article III It is acceptable that those of experience shall, at all times, give explanation and encouragement by word and deed to all young persons, so that foxhunting may continue in the land from generation to generation. He who thinks he knows, when he knows not, is an abomination.
Article IV Every man shall remember that the ground he passes over is not his own property. Whosoever uses not due care and consideration is an abomination.
Article V Whosoever uses not due care and consideration or talks too loudly or leaps unnecessarily is an abomination. He who wears an apron, mackintosh on wet days or who uses any other device for making a mountebank of himself, or who in any way causes inconvenience to any hound or hunt servant is an abomination.
Article VI If it be possible, let every true believer abstain from all meat and drink, save only such as is necessary to sustain life. Let the whole day be kept as a special fasting and strengthening of the mind for the Chase. In the evening he shall partake of suitable meat and drink, and on the evening after a good day he shall have a special allowance.
Article VII He who, of his own free will, goes home before the hounds do, or who is displeased with the day, or who is not fully uplifted, joyful and thankful because of the day, is an abomination.
Article VIII Whosoever kills or takes a fox by any other means save by hunting is an abomination; his dwelling shall become desolate and his possessions a desert; may his mind be filled with bitterness and his body with pain.
Article IX Whosoever lives a cheerful, good neighbour, striving to help and encourage his friends at all times, and who hunts on foot if he has not a horse, and by whose behaviour the Scarlet is never brought into dishonour; may he live long, and be happy and may his possessions be as the sand by the sea-shore for multitude
Article X And may all men, rich and poor, have equal rights and pleasures in the Chase if they devoutly agre to these articles.
Above me hangs his favourite print:
That Far Far Away Echo by Snaffles
In the early morning in the trenches, a soldier remembers his hunting days. Around him is his dream sequence.
What home thoughts from abroad comfort our troops now?