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Mr. J. Stanley na. Leonidas, by Prime Minister, aged, 8st.
Eighty having declared forfeit paid 5 sovs, each.
THE CHAMOIS HUNTER.
Drawn and Engraved by Romney.
For thus illustrating the characteristic sport of the Swiss chasseur, and treading over ground that has now become a beaten path, the excellence of the Engraving must be our excuse.
The snow-capp'd mountain, the treacherous glacier, and awful chasm, in which the artist has described with much force and nature the bold and dangerous chase of the chamois, was the witchcraft used, and feeling we may meet with some sympathy in our taste, we introduce it without further apology.
In our 15th Volume, Second Series, p. 149, we gave à graphic sketch of a Chamois Hunt in the Grimsel, together with an account of a miraculous escape of one of the hunters from a chasm among the ice-ribbed hills, into which he had fallen in the ardor of pursuing his game, and where he must have perished but for the sagacity of his hound, who had tracked him through the snow, and by his bell-toned voice, brought timely assistance.
OUR game certificates enable us to kill game from the time we get them up to the 5th April 1840; and with those who have young
rabbit shooting in May and June, with now and then a leveret, it is very desirable to be armed with a certificate as soon after the preceding year's licence expires as may be. On going to the collector of my parish, a fortnight ago, for my certificate, he told me he had no receipts from the Clerk to the Commissioners of Taxes, and that I could not have my certificate. As the Clerk was not unknown to me, I called at his office and inquired of him the cause of the delay. He told me he had not received the receipts and certificates from the Government Office, and should not get them until the collectors for the present year were appointed. I inquired why the collectors were not then appointed ? He said it was impracticable, and explained the difficulty in this way :-That as soon as the tax-year expires, viz. on the 5th of April, the Commissioners of each district or division in counties issue precepts to two inhabitants of each parish, requiring them to appear on a given day to be sworn assessors for the following year. A fortnight's notice or thereabouts is given for this purpose. On the appearance of these inhabitants, they are sworn as assessors, and a month or six weeks' time is given them to make the assessments for the land and assessed taxes, which they return to the Commissioners, with the names of themselves, or any other two persons they think proper, as collectors for such year: they are then sworn to the correctness of the assessments, and the collectors are considered to be appointed from that day. The Clerk thereupon writes to the Government Office, and in a post or two is furnished with receipts to supply to the collectors, and certificates to be granted by himself, when the Sportsmen return the receipts to him signed by the collectors.
It strikes me, now that this system is fully known, there is good cause for reform in it. The tax is a yearly one, and consequently the person paying it ought to enjoy the right he purchases for the whole year if he pleases. Many modes present themselves for accomplishing an improvement herein.
First, The Clerk to the Commissioners might be enabled himself to issue the certificates, without the intervention of the collectors; and as he is made responsible, I believe, for the number of certificates and receipts which are sent him, and obliged to return those unused to correspond with the money received, or pay the balance himself, there is no good reason why the collectors should be mixed up in the matter.
Secondly, Although the assessors may require a month or six weeks time to prepare and deliver their assessments, they need not two minutes to declare who shall be collectors—themselves, or two of their neighbours ; and hence if the clerk were enabled to ask them at the meeting when they are appointed “who shall be collectors of your parish this year ?” the names of the collectors might be known in April instead of June, and the certificates issued in that month, which would be early enough for every one.
VOL. XIX.-SECOND SERIBS.-No.111,
There are other reasons why certificates should issue early, and as these concern our great game-preservers in both Houses of Parliament, perhaps the thing may be taken up ere long. A gamekeeper, I believe, has no authority under his deputation unless he has a game certificate. Besides, I know several keepers who are in the habit of killing rabbits and leverets before they get their certificates, which lays them open to penalties, and enables many a poacher who is aware of it (and what poacher does not watch the keeper as much, and perhaps more, than that dreaded official peeps about after him ?) to take liberties, which the keeper from this very cause is obliged to wink at. Trusting that the publicity given to this subject in your pages may call attention to it in country gentlemen, and that through their means the certificates may be obtained earlier in future, I remain, yours, &c.
June 3, 1839.
OTTER HUNTING IN THE WEST,
"So prone to the chase, he followed every scent,
From the stag in the forest to bubble-a-vent.”- The Poet of the West,
MAY.-Thursday, 2nd.—We began the glorious sport of Otter-hunting this day. Fox-hunting is concluded for the present, yet our fox-hounds are not allowed to be idle: now they must chase the tyrant of the streams. We have indeed a very superior pack, selected by our gallant Captain, for this sport of the waters.--Mr. Bulteel's hounds met at Long-bridge, on the river Plym, but did not find; never mind, dum spiro spero-bubble-a-vent !
Tuesday, 7th.-Mr. Bulteel's hounds met at Sequers-bridge, on the river Erme; time of meeting nine o'clock; weather cold, with east
the water very cold, but the fox-hounds do not care for that.Found an otter in the otter-pool below Fleet House. The aforesaid pool is a very strong holding. After a great deal of diversion, we got him out of that water, and after many hours of exhilaration, the hounds caught him in the pool below the weir. Tom Moody brandished his spear.com
“ You all know Tom Moody, the fish-spearer, well :
At all sorts of sporting he bears off the bell ;
Just that sort of person who says, Never die !" « Shall I stick him?" says Tom, “By no means," cries out the Captain ; "our cry is spiro, sed nunquam spear-oh!
We never spear an otter; our hounds can catch him : if he escape, there he is for another day.”—“No, no spearing,” roared out the real Otter-hunter, we do not patronise that cruelty."-Killed one dog-otter.
Wednesday, 15th. Met at Loddiswell-bridge, on the river Aven, or, as it is commonly called, Aune. “I wish you a merry Christmas, my comrades !” exclaims the Otter-hunter, “for sure-ly this cannot be the
merry month of May: the moor hills are covered with snow !". “ A poorish sort of day for the Derby!” says the Man of racing.