The illumination of the Saxon Calendar for this month exhibits the chace of the wild boar in the woods, where he fattened on acorns and beech-masts. The Saxon name of the month was Gerst-monat, or Barley-month; the month either of the barley harvest or the barley beer making. But the pictorial representation of September shows us the bold hunting with dog and boar-spear. The old British breed of strong hounds, excellent for hunting and war, which Strabo describes as exported to other countries, was probably not extinct. Even the most populous places were surrounded with thick woods, where the boar, the wolf, and the bear lurked, or came forth to attack the unhappy wayfarer. London was bounded by a great forest. Fitz-Stephen says, writing in the reign of Henry the Second—“On the north side are fields for pasture and open meadows very pleasant, among which the river waters do flow, and the wheels of the mills are turned about with a delightful noise. Very near lieth a large forest, in which are woody groves of wild beasts in the coverts, whereof do lurk bucks and does, wild boars and bulls.” All ranks of the Anglo-Saxons delighted in the chace. The young nobles were trained to hunting after their school-days of Latin, as we are told in Asser’s ‘Life of Alfred.’ Harold Harefoot, the king, was so called from his swiftness in the foot-chace. The beating the woods for the boar, as represented in Fig. 231, was a service of danger, and therefore fitted for the training of a warlike people.