These deservedly popular little dogs are the loveliest of the hound family. They are the merriest little fellows imaginable, shrewd workmen, with the keenest of noses and the most musical of voices. They are used in hunting rabbits, either singly or in packs of five or ten couples. Although pretty and affectionate enough to make the sweetest of pets, they never forget that their true mission in life is to run the rabbit, and never are they more appreciated than when their bell-like melodious voices open up upon the trail.
As the country has settled up and feathered game been exterminated, lovers of field sports who have heretofore devoted their time in the field to bird shooting over setters and pointers, have been obliged to discard their bird dogs in favor of the little hounds, for even in the immediate vicinity of the large cities one can usually find rabbits plentiful enough to furnish good sport.
The origin of the Beagle is lost in obscurity, but it is quite probable that he was evolved from the Foxhound by selecting the smallest specimens and breeding them together until the proper size was arrived at. The typical Beagle is designated in some standards as a miniature Foxhound. This is a mistake. . .
-- from William A. Bruette, The Complete Dog Book (Cincinnati: Stewart Kidd, 1921), p. 64.