« ПредишнаНапред »
fails so often, I wonder it ever gets However, “ Nil desperandum!" credit); but experience teaches us we should be the sportsman's motto; and have inuch to endure in this envious as the past winter was extremely mild, and ever-changing world—“whom the and the spring warm, and free from Lord loveth he chasteneth."-" The heavy rains, we have every reason to just man is tormented in his body: hope the next season will be more but his soul, like an impregnable for- favorable. tress, remains tranquil and serene,
How merciful was that All-wise while all without is ruin and desola- Creator, who, in sending us into a tion. The wicked man, on the con- world so full of care and sorrow, fortrary, reclined on his purple couch got not to bless us with the light of amidst towers and perfumes, seeins Hope! Of all our high attributes, to enjoy the peaceful calm of the soul; there is none affords us such comfort but the enemy works within, and á and happiness as this, rain as it often thousand appearances, which no art is. Without it, how many would can disguise, betray the secret anguish
curse God and die?". W’ith it, of the man who seems so happy.”
there is no
state of existence too Now, considering the fair promises wretched to be borne, no load of miheld out so late as July touching the sery too great to be assuaged. Hope existence of game, this scarcity was is the first best gift of the Deityastonishing, for at that time Norfolk foremost in offering consolation, the and Suffolk, the murs of Scotland, last to desert us; deprived of it we and the mountains of Wales, all pro- should be lost, both liere and heremised a most abundant supply; and after. quite at the beginning of the month
16 How lovely grouse pouts were observed running Are the buds of Hope which Fancy about in large broods, and looking
Once more I healthy and vigorous. Grouse, to be
quote the elegant sure, have a great deal to contend Chateaubrianul, who thus apostrowith-more, perhaps, than any other phises Fancy :sort of game. If whilst in the shell
“ Farewell thou, who hast been my they escape destruction, they have a
consolation through life, thou wlio dreadful enemy in the sheep-dog, who hast participated in my pleasures ! thinks nothing of making a breakfast but, alas! more frequently in my off them: and then the poachers make
sorrows! I cannot separate myself sad havoc in the beginning of August, was but yet an enthusiastic youth, you
from without a sigh-for when I before the regular sportsmen arrive: so that, upon the whole, the existence urged me to traverse the seas, and of a grouse is not at all an enviable cheered me amidst the tempest that For the partridges, I think, the
shivered my sail: you accompanied summer was too hot and dry, for the and taught me to find, amidst the so
me into the savage's cabin of bark, young broods require, like flowers, litudes of America, the inspiring refreshing rains to make them strong on the wing: besides which, much
groves of Pindus.” damage is done in hay and reaping fatal to all the geese in the country:
Now came Michaelmas-day, a time time it is so impossible to teach those
and then that month dear to the who are in no way interested to be careful: but pray, in future,
gunner (October), which for once “ Gentle swains,
realised its promises, and atoned, by If chance should lead you to the chosen
its plenty, for the scarcity of the spot
grouse and partridge. Indeed I do not Where the shy partridge forms her simple know when there has been a better nest,
season for pheasantsma circumstance The embryo offspring spare; and when which I attribute to their being more
your scythe Levels the grassy valleys, should your foot preserved from the severity of the Approach the helpless brood, step back
weather and the attacks of the poacher
(who is not always daring enough to Nor our fond hopes destroy."
ventu rę so near a mansion as where
they usually domesticate) than the observers," under the management of partridge.
that excellent sportsman Sir Harry This month brings joy to the Goodricke (whohunted all through the hunter, by the preparations requisite season six days out of the seven), shone for commencing the ensuing campaign conspicuously. In thing the with vigour. All is bustle and ani sportsmen of Melton have set an exmation : much is to be done both in cellent example to all the fraternitythe stable and the kennel; and every that of making the place agreeable to sportsman pleases himself with the the Ladies, who now go down as rehope that this will be his brilliant gularly as their Lords; and add by
their presence a grace and a charm Now the young hounds are led which was the only thing wanting to forth to have a trial of skill with the Melton to make it perfect; and I have cub gentry, which by the bye I do not no doubt those fair creatures look approve of, thinking it better they forward to the hunting season with should be preserved till age has given as much delight as some do to a seathem strength and ability to do the son at Brighton. trick well. As a sort of practice for Your Correspondent Miles gives young hounds, I own they are of use ; an animated description of a day at but I always think, if the blood of Melton, and the Ladlies. “ During the such hounds is pure, there is little night (he says) there had been a fear, when mixed with old and frost, which made it late before the staunch performers, but they will soon hounds came up from their kennel, know their duty. Another objection which is at a place called Six Hills, I have to cub-hunting is, that, the distance from Melton : but ground not being seasoned or firm, there was full amusement for an hour the horse feels it so terribly in getting in observing the beautiful horses and over the heavy: besides the turnings women which crowded the streets and and twistings up and down the woods windows. The former were literally take more out of him than a inuch crammed with the number of grooms longer straight-away business. To walking the horses about, and groups the rider it is also pretty ticklish of men in reil coats were collected at work, from the blindness of the fences, each corner: others were seen walkfrom which the leaves have not en ing about, arm in arm, with Ladies, tirely fallen. Last season many of while every moment a britscha full of the packs commenced the war in the lovely women would dash in from the month of October (and earned lau. neighbourhood. It had all the aprels), which, though rather hasty, we pearance of a country town on a race cannot wonder at, when we consider day.” the long holiday the hunter is obliged Never indeed did the famed county to take.
of Leicester, even in the glorious November, generally the best scent- days of the immortal Meynell, shew ing month in the year, especially if a richer muster of rank and courage some frost has precedel it to fix the than that which last year followed the ground and pluck the withered leaf fortunes of the brave Sir Harry. from its tottering height, may be said The Pytchley, with the Squire as to usher in this noble diversion in all commander ; 'the Burton, with that its glory : and never, probably, could prime sportsman Sir Richard Sutton ; the annals of the Chase boast of higher the Oakley, under the experienced deeds, or a greater number of packs, eye of Mr. Grantley Berkeley; the than last year rose in terrible array Hambledon, guided by one who against the varmint.
knows how to do the thing (Mr. Melton, Aristocratic Melton, centre King); the Raby, Grafton, Fitzand abode of huut ton and good fel- william, cum multis aliis"-all ļowship, the queen of hunting esta seemed determined to fight bravely. blishments, the “ observed of all Foxes were plenty; and although the
runs were not in all cases severe, they “ If 'were done, when 'uis done, then were frequently of the brilliant order,
't were well and proved the bellows of the nags
li were done quickly." pretty considerably.
But, good Lord, could the Nimrods of Suitólk, under the auspices of Mr. past days lift their heads from their Mure (and his aid-de-camp Will graves, and see their lazy sons traRose), again lays claim to the title of velling to the fixture in a carriage and a hunting country, having been roused four, and the ten or fifteen minutes from its long slumber by that Gentle burst across the smooth and level man, who conducts his menage (at his country afterwards, how would they sole expense) in a style not to be out- rub their optics, and talk of what done, except for local advantages, hunting was in their days! Well
, the even by the Meltonians; and some world certainly is running on at a cubrilliant runs he had for his reward. rious pace. Hills and forests are
The lovers of the trigger met with giving way to steam coaches and rail fresh disappointment this month in roads, and I don't absolutely despair their search for woodcocks, which of shaking hands with the man in throughout the season were very the moon before I die. scarce, owing I suppose to the mild. In this month Mr. Osbaldeston's ness of the atmosphere. This deli- grand undertaking supplied the world cious bird, I am sorry to find, grows with some conversation. It was descarcer every season in England, which clared, after all, a very easy feat; but to the gunner and the epicure is really everything seems easy to those who a serious affair.
don't try it. December, that month sacred to Now came Christmas, with its emhospitality—that month which ought blems, mince-pies and misletoe all to be, and once was, dear to every that are left of the good old customs heart in England, from its youthful of our forefathers. I call them good, associations, its own sublime recollec- because anything which tends to extions, was last year an eventful one, cite innocent mirth and impart hapthough in a far different way. Dis- piness must be good ; and I cannot cord, pestilence, famine, and all the but regret that excessive refinement evils of Pandora's box were let loose which has substituted the cold and upon this devoted country, and made meretricious amusements of modern Christmas a scene of misery and society for the genuine warmth and crime, instead of hospitality and joy. hospitality of olden times. One by I trust that brighter scenes await us! one our national customs are fading
The weather this month was fa- away; foreign improvements and fovorable to the hunter :-no frost yet reign vices usurp their places : and to gem the trees and shrubs with its say, is England happier, wiser, more glittering diamonds, or draw the prosperous ? pearly drop from the red nose:-no February ushered in Sir John hope for the skaiter to sport his ele- Frost, bringing ennui to man, but gant and airy pirouettes before the pleasing rest to his assistants. Huntadmiring eyes of fair damsels: none ing for a time was taking a nap, and for poor reynard, who, malgrè bon no help was left but in the sparkling gri, must foot it over the country glass to drink to its speedy revival. at his hardest. Some splendid runs Diana heard our prayer, and granted took place in consequence in many it; and immediately the wind changed, parts of England, and found honor- the sky grew dark, and rain descended able mention in your pages. Sir
to unlock the frozen earth. The scent Harry Goodricke had some particu was now more brilliant than ever, and larly brilliant days in December, doing pug much refreshed by his holiday. the trick completely afte: Will Shake - To horse !" was the word; and speare's receipt
once more the hills and vales echoed