THE SPORTING SPANIEL 149
English literature is contained in the celebrated " Master of Game," the work of Edward Plantagenet, second Duke of York, and Master of Game to his uncle, Henry IV., to whom the work is dedicated. It was written between the years 14o6 and 1413, and although none of the MSS., of which some sixteen are in existence, is dated, this date can be fairly accurately fixed, as the author was appointed Master of Game in the former and killed at Agincourt in the latter year. His chapter on Spaniels, however, is mainly a translation from the equally celebrated " Livre de Chasse," of Gaston Comte de Foix, generally known as Gaston Phoebus, which was written in 1387, so that we may safely assume that Spaniels were well known, and habitually used as aids to the chase both in France and England, as early as the middle of the fourteenth century.
In the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth century the Spaniel was described bymanywriters on sporting subjects ; but there is a great similarity in most of these accounts, each author apparently having been content to repeat in almost identical language what had been said upon the subject by his predecessors, without importing any originality or opinions of his own. Many of these works, notwithstanding this defect, are very interesting to the student of Spaniel lore, and the perusal of Blaine's Rural Sports, Taplin's Sporting Dictionary and Rural Repository, Scott's Sportsman's Repository, and Needham's Complete Sportsman, can be recommended to all who wish to study the history of the development of the various modern breeds. The works of the French writers, De Cominck, De Cherville, Blaze, and Megnin, are well worth reading, while of late years the subject has been treated very fully by such British writers as the late J. H. Walsh (" Stonehenge "), Mr. Vero Shaw, Mr. Rawdon Lee, Colonel Claude Cane, and Mr. C. A. Phillips.
Nearly all of the early writers, both French and English, are agreed that the breed came originally from Spain, and we may assume that such early authorities as Gaston Phoebus, Edward Plantagenet, and Dr. Caius had good reasons for