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face all over deliciously, it being difficult to determine which seemed the happier of the two, the licker or the licked; while the old coachman in the back ground was standing, whip in hand, evidently enjoying the scene, and no doubt longing for the time when he might get his young master all to himself
to shew him “ Spanker,” the new coach-horse, whose merits we had heard made much of during our journey, and to recount how the before-mentioned very celebrated long-tailed black pony had been conducting himself during his long vacation, which had that day terminated. Before stepping into her carriage, which was in waiting, Lady A. (and happy must the father of her child be !) sent her compliments and thanks for our kindness in bringing her son, who likewise ran up to the coach-door on a similar errand, and to take leave
We were all anxious to witness the meeting. He, too, in black bent eagerly forward, took a lingering glance, but his eye glistened, the big tear floated on its lid, his bosom heaved, his lips quivered, feeling was too powerful for him this time, and leaning back in his seat, and covering his face with his handkerchief, he gave vent to the bitter and long-suppressed anguish of his soul in sobs such as I had seldom heard issue from the heart of man !
The silvery chord of Nature had been unexpectedly touched, but its burst of sorrow was of short duration, while the cause of it needed no comment. He too, like the little boy who had just left us, was returning to his home, but how altered would be to him that familiar scene! The beloved being, who had hitherto formed at heart its centre, and around whose now sainted spirit the affections had performed their constant, their never-varying course, was, alas ! no longer there! That fond breast, which had never ceased, through all life's changes, and “ with all his faults,” to love him fervently, would never more throb with rapture at his approach! The soft though faded lustre of that endearing eye, which had never yet failed to welcome his return with gladness, would never more greet his anxious and inquiring glance ! No longer now would that intercession be offered up for him, as so beautifully expressed in those exquisite lines“ In the sickaess of my childhood, the sorrows of my prime,
The errors of my riper years, the cares of every time,
It was a fervent prayer to Heaven that bent my mother's knee !" No longer now would the arm which had so often embraced him, the lip which had so frequently and fervently implored blessings upon him, the bosom which had so tenderly, and so tenaciously and so truly loved him, and on which his head had so often rested in infancy and childhood -no longer would these be known, and heard, and felt there, for they were gone! gone down to the cold and silent tomb, with his name yet lingering on life's latest sigh! “ The light of other days ” had departed, and the wanderer was returning to his home but to feel that all he had most loved in this world was...... in Heaven !
Why then such darkening o'er of gloom,
Such deepening of despair,
When those we've loved are there!
And now again the gathering gloom and the glistening eye, as its glance fell on some too well-remembered objects in passing, but plainly denoted, as we proceeded onward, that we were approaching likewise his native place. On alighting some time after at the entrance of a princely-looking domain, he was met by a young and lovely girl in deep mourning, who appeared anxiously awaiting his arrival within the park gates, but who came with a slow and solemn step towards him. Tenderly did he take her white hand in his, pressing it fondly to his quivering lip, as, without uttering a word, he led her mournfully into the rustic lodge. There his tears might be poured out unrestrainedly on a sister's bosom, to mingle again with hers that evening on a mother's grave!
“Wo unto them, not her, for she sleeps well!"
THE TWELFTH OF AUGUST 1839,
A FEW WORDS FROM THE MOUNTAINS, SCOTLAND.
"D'ye like the mountains, where the red heather grows,
The Twelfth of August !-Are there four words in the English language that call up such a host of agreeable associations ? There is something that we Knights of the Trigger feel at the mention of these four little words that makes the heart throb with emotion, and, whether enjoying the healthful sport or not, I cannot pass that day without a few stray thoughts as to its pleasures. The fair one's whisper must be prodigiously sweet when she articulates the consenting YES; yet I have known youths, aye and even men of mature years too, who appeared to be in much higher spirits while putting everything in order for the Moors, than when about to depart upon their marriage jaunts.
How solitary and sublime are the stupendous mountains around you ! the rimpling rill murmuring faintly through the rocky glen! and in the distance the lovely lake, with the ripple on the wave from the mountain breeze! to see the sun rising from the heath-clad hills at half-past four in the morning, ourselves stationed on a high hill-top ! the congregated vapors casting and dispersing far below! measureless tracks of heather around glistening with dew, and tipped with pencils of new-born light more radiant than its own purple bells .......why, these are enjoyments that would be poorly exchanged for slothful slumbers on the softest couch that ever derived its elasticity from down filched from the eider duck's breast !
Add to this the high gratification of having your cheek fanned by the first breeze that is chased into action by the morning breath; the independence implied by the possession of manly and vigorous powers; the admirable docility and tactics of animals which bring their instincts to bear upon their masters' pleasures; and then, in place of inquiring who would, rather say who would not be a Sportsman !
He who has never trod the Moors--and I should suppose that there are hundreds who read the pages of THE SPORTING MAGAZINE who have never had that gratification and delight-knows nothing comparatively of the luxury of a day's grouse shooting, and also very little indeed of the luxury of dining-not to pick like a bilious citizen, but of eating like a hale and healthy man. The individual, who but a week before hung languidly over the breast of a chicken, now acquits himself so superexcellently as a trencher-man, that I would not give a pin's fee for the reversion of his interest in a heaped platter of beefsteak! This I can with all honesty confirm, and that to my sad experience this day, being forced to make my way among a few stray tid-bits left to me by the rest of our hungry party who had got the start of me by being first home to dinner.
The 12th, 13th, and 14th, were three glorious days for the Moors, and the different parties in this neighbourhood have had splendid sport. I was laughing to myself at our old St. Swithin, “ who had given us less or more of his sweet favors every day since the 15th of July," till the 12th ; when, just as I was retiring to rest for the night, behold his rattle
upon the window, just as much as to tell you he was alive and no. more; but since the 14th we have had him in all his glory! His reign, however, will soon be over, for his Saintship has only another week of his unruly deluge!
To come now to the foray.—The Earl of Mexborough and his two sons bagged upon the 12th, in Glenquaich, upon the Marquis of Brædalbane's moors, 152 brace of birds : the Honorable Fox Maule and two friends bagged 72 brace the same day at Amilree upon the Kinloch moors; and on the Logie Almond moors that veteran Sportsman Colonel Paterson killed 85 brace before dinner. He rents his moors from Sir William Drummond Stewart, of Murthly Castle, and, like all true Sportsmen, protects them, like a good old soldier, with a standing army to keep the enemy in order ; and I am glad his labors are rewarded, as his moors are among the best in Scotland. I met him in Perth as lively as a chicken a few days before tlie 12th. Abercairney and party at his shooting box upon the Ochiell hills have had excellent sport. Mr. Reid at Auchnafree, from Sussex, killed 53 brace
the 12th ; and Mr. Williamson and party upon the same property, but at another shooting box, called Innergeldy, have killed up to this date (Saturday 17th), nearly 300 brace. Mr. Condie, from Perth, who rents a shooting box from “our worthy and late Master of the Perthshire Hounds, Abercairney,” has had splendid sport at Conachan Lodge, and is one of the best shots in this large county. What do you think of his killing 10 brace of old grouse cocks without a Miss, or making a single mistake as to killing a young bird! This I have seen him do, which I call cool work. I heard a Gallant Colonel of the Guards declare a few years ago, after he had bagged his 20 brace of grouse about the latter end of September, that GROUSE was the fox-HUNTING of shooting. Lord Glenlyon, Sir P. M. Thriepland (Fingask), Mr. Smythe, of Methven Castle, and a host of others on the Atholl property, have had good sport, and although the broods have been very irregular as to size, the birds were numerous, so that the full grown were bagged, and the cheepers left to make a bag in September.