The Dogge called the Setter,
in Latine Index.
Another sort of Dogges be there, scruicaeble for fowling, making no
noise either with foote or with tounge, whiles they followe the game. These
attend diligently vpon theyr Master and frame their conditions to such beckes,
motions, and gestures, as it shall please him to exhibite and make, either
going forward, drawing backeward, inclining to the right hand, or yealding
toward the left, (In making mencion of fowles my meaning is of the Partridg
and the Quaile) when he hath founde the byrde, he keepeth sure and fast
silence, he stayeth his steppes and wil proceede no further, and with a
close, couert, watching eye, layeth his belly to the grounde and so creepeth
forward like a worme. When he approcheth neere to the place where the birde
is, he layes him down, and with a marcke of his pawes, betrayeth the place
of the byrdes last abode, whereby it is supposed that this kinde of dogge
is called Index, Setter, being in deede a name most consonant and agreable
to his quality. The place being knowne by the meanes of the dogge, the fowler
immediatly openeth and spreedeth his net, intending to take them, which
being done the dogge at the accustomed becke or vsuall signe of his Master
ryseth vp by and by, and draweth neerer to the fowle that by his presence
they might be the authors of their owne insnaring, and be ready intangled
in the prepared net, which conning and artificiall indeuour in a dogge (being
a creature domesticall or householde seruaunt brought vp at home with offalls
of the trencher and fragments of victualls) is not much to be maruailed
at, seing that a Hare(being a wilde and skippishe beast) was seene in England
to the astonishment of the beholders, in the yeare of our Lorde God, 1564
not onely dauncing in measure, but playing with his former feete vppon a
tabbaret, and obseruing iust number of strokes (as a practcioner in that
arte) besides that nipping & pinching a dogge with his teeth and clawes,
& cruelly thumping him with y'force of his feete. This is no trumpery
tale, nor trifling toye (as I imagine) and therefore not unworthy to be
reported, for I recken it a requitall of my trauaile, not to drowne in the
seas of silence and speciall thing, wherein the prouidence and effectuall
working of nature is to be pondered.
This essay was written in one of the earlist books on Dogs, in Latin in
1570, by Johannes Caius, a Doctor of Medicine of the University of Cambridge.
This is the English translation by Abraham Fleming and was originally published
by Richard Johnes, in 1576.
*Note: In this essay the word Index appears twice, once in the title and
once in the essay....after puzzling about the word for a while I finally
decided that it was as the title said "In Latine Index"..in other
words was latin. At that point I went to the Latin-English Dictionary to
find the meaning of the latin word index....it read "one that informs
or indicates; an informer." With that in mind the word Index is not
If you know of any sites that deal with English Setters please e-mail us the URL.
comments, and opinions are valuable to us.
David & Deborah Thacker
Seashell English Setters
Visits: 392 since 10/21/96
COPYRIGHT © 1996, 1997 by David and Deborah Thacker