Графични страници
PDF файл

Upon these subjects I shall pro- many soft words as you can screw bably enlighten you a little in my your mouth to give utterance to, next letter ; but as you seem, be- attempt nothing more then and fore all other things, to request there. my assistance in hiring you a But now to get back upon the keeper, and giving you a few scent of your keeper. Many hints about getting up a head of think that a stranger in the coungame, that shall be the premier try is preferable to a native, inaspas. You say your tenants (pretty much as he has no connections, vagabonds according to your ac and is brought into it totally new counts) have made what they call to the society he will fall in with, “ free manor" during the time of and perfectly dependent upon your minority, while you were yourself. For my part, I own pulling stroke in the ten-oar at I prefer a native of the spot : Eton, and doing a bit of Trump- he knows and has known from ington at Cambridge. This must childhood the name, circumbe stopped forthwith-fairly and stances, and characters of the softly if possible, but by all means whole parish : he will tell you stopped rem facias, rem si “the marks, height, age, and possis rectè, si non quocunque where he strayed from,” of every modo rem." These gentry appear smock-frock whom he may chance from the plan of your estate to to see three fields off: he knows occupy some one hundred and how many nails are in Tom's fifty or two hundred acres each, half-boots, and the shape of Will's which (as I pretty well know tips: and lastly, as there are custhe value of your land) makes toms of poaching peculiar to every them payers (or promisers to district, he is more au fait in the pay) of some sixty or eighty particular walk to which his atpounds per annum. Now these tention is to be turned. If he are not the persons to whose ten- be honest (of course the first inder mercies and sporting propen- quiry to which you will pay atsities I should like to entrust tention), he will not allow old my hen pheasants and doe hares. acquaintance to interfere with Where a farmer is a man of pro- his duty: if he be the contrary, perty and respectability ; where and desirous of forming improper he associates but half a grade be. connections, it matters not whelow, or possibly with his landlord; ther he come from John o'Groat's or where he is himself a land. House, or the Land's End. Lookowner, the case is a different one: ing therefore on both sides of the but where newly caught, clothed, question, I should say, hire a naand promoted from the plough tail, tive if you can find one who you he is a different species of animal: think will suit you : if not, I will therefore at your next audit din, look out for you in my neighner, when their hearts are softened bourhood. After his honesty, with your best ale and rum-punch, you will inquire into his characand when they have (which they ter for sobriety, but this is almost infallibly will) just declared that a repetition ; for no drunken “money they have none," request keeper was ever honest. It is imtheir desisting from their accus- possible that his weekly wages tomed amusement, and, giving as can both keep his wife and chil.


dren in comfort, and himself in your choice of a married man anda gin: the money to pay for “the bachelor, choose the former. He enemy he puts into his mouth to knows what a good starve is, and steal away his brains” must come will hardly be such a fool, when from some other source; he has he gets a livelihood, as to throw not an hour to spare from your it away wantonly. Besides, Tom, employ by day or night to as thou art now about indeed to earn it in; nevertheless it must become a Benedick thyself, there be found : where can it come will be les chance of a caterfrom but out of your woods ? wauling in the dairy, or behind Never tell me of an uncommonly the hen house, by having thy clever fellow who can see with garde de chasse in the same preone eye when he is drunk as dicament--or there ought to be. far as others can with two when Civility is another grand rethey are sober : it is all stuff! quisite: by the rules both of law discard the belief of it altogether. and propriety, every man

is Trust me there are many other answerable for the good behavery“ clever fellows” besides viour of his servants; and I know your keeper in the village ; and

no person more likely to be if they can once plant him, and tempted to outrage civility, and mark him down at the sign of the to overstep the propriety of de. Pig and Belly-ache, or at that meanour due to every man, than respectable beer-house which you a gamekeeper. Sometimes I grant tell me Tom Slipgibbet has just there may be the greatest excuse established in your neighbour- made for heat of temper or roughhood, he must be a “ clever fel ness of manner, for I have seen low” indeed to save his pheasants. some soi-disant gentlemen set Another grand objection I have their whole wits to work to cause to a drunken “ clever fellow” is a poor devil of a keeper to lose this-nobody ever gets drunk his temper, and by so doing take alone: no respectable person will advantage of him: but never let sit down to get drunk with him him forget to carry a civil tongue --ergo, he is perforce the boon in his head. I have no penchant companion and pot ally of every for being made target practice of vagabond with whom he scrapes to answer the sins of my servant, acquaintance. Trust in no re yet to this am I by right exformed drunkard-it is a vice posed upon such an occasion. which I never knew a man get Activity in body is as necessary rid of. Perhaps by necessity, after as promptness of mind: I had being turned away, and kept on sooner have a man who could run parish allowance for a twelve- like a greyhound, than one that month, his nose loses somewhat could fight like a bull-dog. A of its wonted ruby, and his hand cross is doubtless to be preferred; regains somewhat of its pristine but ninety-nine times in a hunsteadiness : but put him into dred the heels instead of the fists your harness, get a few beans are a poacher's resource, except into him, and if he does not kick indeed in great preserves, where over the pole before long, never the quantity of game induces believe me again. Experto crede. gangs, and where onerascal shoul

If, cæteris paribus, you have dering the other imbibes a courage


which he individually possesses every poacher as if you were to not. Do not misunderstand me, advertise it on the market cross; and imagine that I would keep a and they will, of course, be seekskulker a moment in my service, ing what they may devour. If but generally (particularly as Í you have a good sharp fellow before stated if you by my re who can manage the retriever commendation hire a native) all and drill the men, I would rethat is wanted is to recognise your commend both keepers to be ex

If a row does take place, cused: this they will not like, and you happen to have more for it is a day's fun to them ; but keepers than poachers in the I know you always said that you melée, I hope they will not be would never be John to your own such fools (as was once the case servant, and I hope you will be with my own wiseacres) to stand as good as your word. At any upon the rules of fair play: re rate let them take it by turns, member our rule at school, when or if you make one the head engaged in a battle royal with man, give him his choice. Snobs--get 'em down and keep 'em I should not advise dividing down. Gown and Town ought your ground, and giving one always to take every advantage man one-half

, and one the other : in their power : for rely upon it, by so doing they are more easily reverse the tables, and your ad- watched by poachers. . Moreversaries would do the same. over, by making the ground com

A dandy I utterly abhor. I mon to both, you run a better hired one (unsight unseen) out of chance of keeping all on the Hertfordshire some years since, square, unless you happen indeed and he appeared with a Corydon to hire both rascals, which let me hat, a summer tye, a shirt pin tell you has occurred to older I forget whether he had men than yourself. cameo on his little finger-but A dog-breaker will be but (ναι περ Δια) I found him

of little import in your cramp feeding his pointers in gloves !! woodlands :

I prefer

setters As I could not imagine that a broke in an open country, and gentleman of his calibre was at when seasoned brought into the all likely to lie in a ditch from small inclosures : even they, too, light to dark for a week together soon get to hedge hunting and watching a wire, he quickly re- puddling : but a young dog in sought his paternal glades, where your country would be spoiled I trust he gives satisfaction. even in teaching him his business.

Two good active fellows ought As they get older, they (setters) to look over your ground (I think are the best dogs in the world for you say about twelve hundred

cock or pheasant ; and acres) thoroughly, and (if you indeed be out of luck, if out of allow assistance for night work) all your kennel you have not one to find you plenty of shooting in that will bring his game, which a moderate way. By the bye, is quite a sine quâ non in rough while I think of it, a word as to shooting. I hate to see a keeper your shooting days. If you give stand jawing for half an hour with a battue, never take both keepers: every hedger and ditcher he comes your party is as well known by across in his rounds: "a sharp


you must

eye and a silent tongue" are not most favorable time for a lurcher; more requisite in a seaman (bvy they are then more easily perthe way Tom, if you have not ceived by the hares: a moderately read Glascock's “Tales of a Tar," cloudy night, with some wind buy them and study them forth- (of which the poacher takes adwith) than in a gamekeeper. vantage by working to leeward) Some men have the knack of is the perilous season. slipping from covert to covert The gun is the only prescriplike a mole: whether they walk tion for lurchers, although I in the ditches, or crawl through agree with Colonel Hawker in the hedges, or possess the tapestry being very cautious whom I enof Prince Houssain, I know not ; trust with such an instrument. but nobody ever sees their motions, If possible, and if the light serves, or can nail them: others swagger they generally course hares toacross every field, big with all wards the morning, when the the consequence inherent to vel- keepers are gone to bed, and veteen, gold lace, and a double when the hares' bellies are crambarrel, whistling to an umbroken med with green corn, so that pointer puppy, and rehearsing their pace and wind are at a disupon sparrows the art of shooting count. It will be quite as well Aying. These gentry, “ full of for your game, and you will stand sound and fury, signify nothing.” no lower in your keeper's estimaTheir approach and departure tion as a preserver, if he finds are notified by so many signals you awake to these few memothrown out by themselves, that randa, and upon their being the poacher follows in their wake obeyed I should insist, as part of as unerringly as the cock-sparrow my system. does in that of the owl.

Remember I am not writing to Never believe a coxcomb who you as to a Norfolk preserver, tells

you poaching is over whose head man is a for the season:” poaching is authority having gamekeepers never over: and, during March under him, and who merely sees and April, when the hares run to others preserving his master's by night, more mischief is done game; but as to a Sussex faramongst them by wiring the mer and landowner, who can does than at any other time of only afford a moderate sum to year*. You must likewise con insure him and his friends modetinue your night patrol until the rate sport, and who is perforce corn gets high enough to hide a obliged to overlook carter, groom, hare, if you intend to avoid coura and gamekeeper with his own

When they catch an old eyes, and to make use of all those suckling unsaleable doe, they put senses with which Nature has her in their own pot; and an endowed him, to ensure a toleearly half-grown leveret is more rable degree of attention from valuable and readier of sale than those hired to work at their seveany other game. A full moon, ral occupations. when very bright, is not the You say your stock of phea

* I should have precisely the same opinion of the judgment of a man who turned his hunters to grass for the summer, as of the vous of any gamekeeper who relaxed his exertions, and discontinued his watching when the shooting season expired.

that «

man in


sants is so low that


shall be or two a few ants' eggs, a morsel obliged to turn down a few. I of alum curd, or some such petit have not room here to expatiate morceau—" a little and often,” is fully upon the rearing them; but the golden rule; and any old in my next letter I will give you woman can do it just as well as a few memoranda which expe- the most thorough-bred keeper. rience has imprinted upon me on

TASSEL. this part of my subject. One thing I shall beg of you to rememe

то ber--not to take up your keeper's

T. L_, Esq. time with the young birds during

The Oaks, the summer : all they want is

Mudley.le.Soken, constant attendance-every hour

near Squashborough, Sussex.




DEÅR ONEOFUS, ONE NE letter more before the Messrs. Holyoak, Viner, Clut

season closes, and I shall terbuck, Young, Turner, Yates, then have told you all that has Campbell, and Heneage, went the occurred.

best. Mr. Payne got a fall at Saturday, March 17. The first, and lost his place. A good Squire met at Cold Ashby; went many of the field left after the to Lord Spencer's gorse covert close by the canal, where we We then went to Sir James found, and went away at a capi- Langham's park, and drew Sir tal pace to the left, up to Win- Justinian Isham's covert blank; nick Warren-twenty minutes: and then on to a covert called then bore to the left, over the Cotsgrave I believe. The hounds hill, down into the valley, where were a long time in it, and we we checked for a few minutes; were beginning to despair, when hit it again, and went away, leav- a most gallant fox broke at the ing Ravencroft to the left, and, lower end, and went away up crossing the bottom, lost him in towards Sir Ji's covert ; but on a small plantation, where there getting within half a field of it, were earths I believe--fifty min he found the wind too much for nutes. There was a large field him, and turning short to the out, but not more than ten left he went right down wind or twelve saw the run--fences over the most splendid country some of them very big, and a in England. While waiting at great many falls. The Squire, the top of the covert before though on his best jumper, finding, we had all been adPilot, winner of the steeple miring this line ; and one of the chase, got a fall at a little bit party observed, that if he had to of a place, which proves the very pick ground for a steeple chase, best make mistakes at times. he thought from where we stood He was very nearly ridden over to Brixworth steeple should be by a farmer on å grey horse. the course, being all grass, large

« ПредишнаНапред »