chapter  XXI
10 Pages

Of Hunting

GOD, before sin, gave for food unto man every herb bearing seed upon all the earth [Gen. i. 29]-and every tree wherein is the fruit of a tree bearing seedwithout making mention of the spilling of the blood of beaSts. And, notwithStanding, after the banishment from the Garden of Pleasure, the labour ordained for the punishment of the said sin required a Stronger and more subStantial food than the former, so man, full of carnality, accuStomed himself to feed upon flesh, and did tame certain number of beaSts for to serve him to that effect, though some would say that before the flood no flesh was eaten: for in vain had Abel been a shepherd, and Jabal father of shepherds [Gen. iv. 20]. But, after the flood, God, renewing his covenant with man: " The fear and dread of you (saith the Lord) shall be upon every beaft of the earth, and upon every fowl of the heaven, with all that moveth on the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea: they are given into your hands; all that moveth having life shall be unto you for meat" [Gen. ix. 2, 3]. Upon this privilege is formed the right of hunting, the nobleSt right of all rights that be in the use of man, seeing that God is the author of it. And therefore no marvel if Kings and their nobility have reserved it unto them, by a well-concluding reason that, if they command unto men, with far better reason may they command unto beaSts; and, if they have the adminiStration of juStice to judge malefactors, to overcome rebels, and to bring to human society wild and savage men, with far better reason shall they have it for to do the same towards the creatures of the air, of the foreSts and of the fields. As for them

of the sea, we will speak of them in another place. And seeing that Kings have been in the beginning chosen by the people for to keep and defend them from their enemies whilst that they are at their necessary works, and to make war as much as need is for the reparation of injury and recovery of that which hath been wrongfully usurped or taken away, it is very reasonable and decent that as well them as the nobility that do assist and serve them in those things have the exercise of hunting, which is an image of war, to the end to rouse up the mind and to be always nimble, ready to take horse, for to go to encounter with the enemy, to lie in ambush, to assail him, to chase him, to trample him under feet. There is another and first aim in hunting: it is the food of man, whereunto it is destinated, as is known by the place of Scripture afore alleged -yea, I say, so destinated that in the holy language it is but one and the selfsame word ~~~ for to signify hunting (or venison) and meat: as among a hundred places, this of the one hundred thirty two Psalm. Where our God, having chosen Sion for his habitation and perpetual rest, promiseth unto her that he will abundantly bless her viCtuals, and will satisfy her poor with bread. Upon which place Saint Jerome termeth "venison," that which the other translators do call "vifluals," better to the purpose· than Widow in the common translation.