Now Mrs. Pringle had always had a very laudable admiration of fox-hunters. She thought the best introduction for a young man of fortune was at the cover side, and though Jerry Pringle (who looked upon them as synonymous) had always denounced "gamblin' and huntin'" as the two greatest vices of the day, she could never come in to that opinion, as far as hunting was concerned.
She now thought if she could get Billy launched under the auspices of that distinguished sportsman, the Earl of Ladythorne, it might be the means of reclaiming him from Butter Fingers, and getting him on in society, for she well knew how being seen at one good place led to another, just as the umbrella-keepers at the Royal Academy try to lead people into giving them something in contravention of the rule above their heads, by jingling a few half-pence before their faces. Moreover, Billy had shown an inclination for equitation—by nearly galloping several of Mr. Spavin, the neighbouring livery-stable-keeper's horses' tails off; and Mrs. Pringle's knowledge of hunting not being equal to her appreciation of the sport, she thought that a muster of hounds found all the gentlemen who joined his hunt in horses, just as a shooter finds them in dogs or guns, so that the thing would be managed immediately.
Illustrated by John Leech.