« ПредишнаНапред »
OF THE WOODCOCK. down from the moon. However,
they visit us, and wherever they (Transmitted to the Editor by a come from, it appears tbat they Correspondent.)
reach our coasts invariably from a
western direction. OF this bird there are two sorts,
The Province of Munster, in commonly called the small Ireland, has them before us; Cornbrown and the muffed, which were wall and Devon before any other formerly mistaken for male and counties in England; and Pemfemale. In shape and appearance brokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and they differ no less than in size. Cardiganshire, before any other The latter has a large puffed head, part of Wales. That a few bave, (whence it takes its name) is long from very remote periods, been bred and deep in the breast, and remark- in the Azores or Western Islauds, able for an assemblage of finely has been ascertained as
a fact. contrasted tints on its back and These, however, can in number by wings. The latter, now but rarely no means equal what annually remet with, has a smooth fine head, sort to our country oply, and if short beak, round body, and can we may be allowed to add one to not boast of such exquisite plumage. the numerous conjectures already It is, however, when dressed, of, made on a subject so interesting to equal flavour, and as these birds the sportsman, we have sufficient are in all other respects perfectly grounds for supposing that they similar, we may venture to treat of are not originally natives even of then as one and the same.
the Western Islands, but that of The woodcock has been the sub- those returning from this country, ject of much conjecture.. Where the disabled from wounds, indisis it bred, and whence does it visit position, or any other source of our islands ? are questions which, debility, annually stop short at after the strictest scrutinies of the these islands, and finding a sufsportsman, and the most minute ficiency of food, and feeling an researches of the naturalist, have insufficiency of strength, to resume been solved only in part. Of the their flight, they remain here, and various reports concerning it, one the healthier part of them propasays that it breeds in the inacces- gate their breed. sible bogs of Poland; another makes Allowing these premises to be it indefinitely a native of Russia; correct, we may infer that the said a third directs us to the morasses islands serve as a direction only to in the interior of America, and the place of their destination, and adds, that in their passage to this that according to the conjecture country, about the time of harvest, before alluded to, they are natives it is a common practice to way of the interior, possibly remote lay and take numbers of them on parts, of the Continent of America. the Islands of the Delawar; and According to the best information, whilst nothing has been adduced one only has ever been heard of in actual proof of either of these in that country north of the Delapositious, we cannot but smile at war, and that was shot by a the surmise of the countryman, clergyman in Newfoundland in the wbich formerly attracted some at year 1802. On examining the tention, that woodcocks dropped make of this bird, we find it sinVol. XLVI.--No, 271,
gularly qualified for long and rapid poise, twists and turns in the air Aight, and when we notice ibe with incredible velocity, and seems strength of pinion, and the im- to redouble its efforts towards mense spread of the wings, we evasion. Its flight is now distant must not omit their arched forma. and rapid, and when the eye has tion. This alone constitutes a followed it through a variety of singularity, and with the exception windings, and is confident of have of the beron, is peculiar to tropical ing marked it down, a sudden turn birds, wbich remain on the wing a or wheel, possibly in the very act of great length of time together, and pitching, often raises it again, and is calculated to increase their places it beyond the calculation of buoyancy.
the most experienced sportsman. Some woodcocks reach Ireland Of all its peculiarities, however, as early as the middle of September. one must not be omitted, and The first few in England are gene- wbich will possibly ever remain rally found in the highest lands of inexplicable; and that is, that in Cornwall, and on the loftiest peaks all countries frequented by the and most craggy situations in the woodcock, there are certain places, forest of Dartmoor, in the county apparently most likely for them, of Devon. Of those taken in either where they will not resort; and place, in addition to disbevelled that in the identical spots and siplumage, they have exhibited lean- tuations where they were found by ness, and other marks of recent our forefatbers, there cbiefly, if arrival. They do not reach us in any be in the country, are they any numbers till the end of October, found at the present day. That wben, after having trimmed their they always feed in low and moist plumage, explored the country, lands, and such as admit of what regained their flesh, and become is called boring, appears a mistake. gradually naturalised, they give Numbers are annually taken by proof of habits and propensities, the springe on the highest hills in differing from all others of the Cornwall
and Devon, when in pure feathered tribe. Influenced much suit of their favourite food, the long by wind and weather, they at times lob-worm. In general, it seems appear equally variable. Some will these birds chiefly frequent
woods reniain a month or more in a situa- and woody situations. In Devon. tion, where tbey are unmolested, sbire, however, throughout the seaand have plenty of food, provided son, tbey are found also in wet the wind continues in the same ditches ; under the Quantock hills quarter. Any change in the at- in Somerset, they lay in ferns; in mosphere, bowever trifiug, seems the Scilly Islands, in low broom; to affect them. If they come to and in the Isle of Lundy, in beatb you in frosty weather, open wea. and rushes. ther takes them away, and vice From the comparative scarcity
Thus it is by no means un of these birds in England for the common to find many woodcocks last thirty years, the usual mode one day, and not one the next. of taking them by net in the woods
In foggy weather, this bird fies at what is called roading time, bas, heavily and drops soon. Ju dry in great measure, ceased, and an frosty days, however, and with an observation has been often made, easterly wind, it rises at the least that the breed is somehow or other
considerably reduced; this, how- basty, but very true sketch, of a ever, appears to be erroneous, from day's sport which I had at Clay the quantities which annually re- Hythe, in the river Cam; and the sort to France and Spain. At the sensations described in it, were foot, and on either side of the those tbat I really felt in my walk Pyrennees, our officers under Lord to and from that place. Wellington noticed great numbers T. G. can be no sportsman, and of them. We may conclude, I should be fearful if my fish-bag therefore, that woodcocks are as should fall in the way of such a plenty as ever, though not in Eng- man; be would as readily appro: land; and that they, in pursuance priate some of the contents to with the practice of all the mi- himself, as he has appropriated my grating tribes, whether of the little essay ; be bas not even had earth, air, or water, in process of the wit to alter the title, for by time
yary their rout; and of these that I discovered it, in looking birds, alike the object of tbe sports over your table of contents for the man and the epicure, we bave last number. now only the gleanings, wbereas I have headed this "the saddle our more southern neighbours are put upon the right horse," and I in the enjoyment of the full and feel some sort of pleasure in putting redundant barvest.
P. myself on a level with that noble April 5, 1815.
animal, feeling that however tri
A fing and inelegant my saddle, as I THE SADDLE PUT UPON THE have termed it, may be, it is too RIGHT HORSE.
much to let an ass wear it. The
two principal quotations in the To the Editor of the Sporting Man article as T. G. bas sent it to you, gazine.
were not in mine; I shall finish SIR,
this note by re-quoting the last IT is somewhat singular, that just line of one of them, which T. G.
at the time I was sending you bas laid much emphasis on, and an anecdote (The Judges and the wbich I recommend to his serious Parish Clerk), which I feared notice. , It is, might bave been in print before,
“ Blush, and, be silmt." and therefore prefaced it in such
I am, Sir, your old correspona way as to escape any thing like
J. M. LACEY. censure even if it had ; a person Clement's Jan. signing himself “T. G. Laleham, has imposed upon you, as original, “ The Angler's Day.” If you, or PHENOMENA, THE CELEBRATED your readers, will take the trouble
TROTTING MARE. to refer to the Lady's Magazine for October, 1813, that piece will This well known animal, to be found, almost verbatim, as whose extraordinary qualities T. G. has now sent it to you; and our pages have on several occain the few alterations he has made, sions borne testimony, died last the sense is rather impaired than June in the county of Norfolk. amended. The piece was written Mr. Daniel, of Grove Cottage, by me, at Cambridge, in the month Mile-End, in whose possession she of September, 1813, and was a had been for several years, sold ber
in May, 1814, to the Rev. Dr. and thirty seconds, and whilst in Astley, son of the late Sir Edward Mr. Boswell's possession, she won Astley, wbo hred her; at that time four extraordinary matches in one she was in very fine condition ; but day. on the 27th of June following, an A portrait of her was given in extreinely hot day, as one of the our 116th Number. Doctor's men
was trotting her across a common, sbe suddenly dropt, and immediately expired.- HAPPINESS EQUALLY DISPENSAlthough to many of our readers
ED TO THE HIGH AND THE the exploits of Pbenomena are
LOW. perfectly well knowı), it may not be improper, while recording her from the CHAMPION Sunday Newspaper. death, to notice a few of the most remarkable.
THE fastidious habits of polished Independent of several feats, in life generally incline us to rewhich she had been successful, she ject, as incapable of interesting us, was matched in June, 1800, (then wbatever does not present itself in twelve years old) by Mr. Robson, a graceful shape of its own, and a to trot seventeen miles within one ready-made suit of ornaments : but bour on the Huntingdon road, some of the plainest weeds become and which she performed with beautiful under the microscope ;ease in fifty-six minutes. The it is the benevolent provision of performance was donhted by some, nature, that in proportion as you and very large hets were offered feel the necessity of extracting that she did not perform the same interest from common things, you distance in the same time, viz. fifty- are enabled to do so ;-and the six minutes.
very least that this familiarity with Mr. Robson accepted the chal- homeliness will do for us, is to lenge, and in July following, with- render our artificial delicacy less in one month, she trotted again liable to annoyance, and to teach the seventeen miles a few seconds us how to grasp the nettles till they under fifty-three minutes, which obey ns. is unparalleled in sporting history. I am enough of a WordsShe was afterwards matched for worthian not to confine my tastes two thousand guineas to trot nine to the received elegancies of soteen miles and a half within the ciety: and in one respect I go farhour, but to which her opponents ther than he, for though as fond paid forfeit. Observe, this was in perhaps of the country as Mr. consequence of its being proved Wordsworth, I can
manage to by several stop watches, that dure please myself in the very thick of ing this last match sbe did four cities, and even find there as much miles under eleven minutes, which reason to do justice to Providence alarmed the sporting gentlemen, in this way, as he does in the haunts who were of opinion she could trot of sportsmen, and anglers, and alltwenty miles in the hour.
devouring insects. When this beautiful and valuahle To think, for instance, of that creature was twenty-three old, laborious and inelegant class of the (February 11, 1811), sbe trotted community,-washerwomen ;-and ning miles in twenty-eight minutes of all the bot, disagreeable, dab
bing, smoaking, splashing, kit- very odd,” says the master of the cheny, cold-dining, anti-company- house, mumbling from under the receiving associations, to which hed-clothes, “that Betty does not they give rise :-wbat can be get up to let the people in; I've more annoying to any tasteful heard that knocker ibree times."lady or gentleman at their first “Ob,"returns the mistress, "she's waking in the morning, than when as lazy as she's high ;" and off goes that dreadful thump at the door the chamber-bell ;-by which time comes, announcing the tub-tumb- Molly, who begins to lose her ling viragoes with their brawny sympathy with her fellow sei vant arms and brawling voices ? I must in impatience of wbat is going on, confess, for my own part, that my gives ber one or two conclusive taste, in the abstract, is not for digs in the side, when the other washerwomen; I prefer Dryads gets up, rubbing her eyes and and Naiads, and the figures that inumbling, and hastening, and resemble them,
shrugging berself down stairs, Fair forms, that glance amidst the green Watson, I hope you haven't been
opens the door with “Lord, Mrs. of woods, Or from the waters give their sidelong standing here long !"-" Standshapes
ing here long, Mrs. Betty! oh Half swelling.
don't tell me; people might stand Yet I have lain awake sometimes starving their legs off, before you'd in a street in town, after this first put a finger out of bed."-" Oh confounded rap, and pleased my- don't say so, Mrs. Watson ; I'm self with reflecting how equally sure I always rises at the first the pains and enjoyments of this knock; and there you'll find every world are dealt out to people in thing comfortable helow, with a general, and what a pleasure there nice hock of lam wbich I made is in the inere contemplation of John leave for you.” At this the any set of one's fellow-creatures washerwomen cease their mumand their humours, when our know bling, and shuffle down stairs, ledge has acquired humility enough hoping to see Mrs. Betty early at to look steadily at them.
breakfast. Here, after warming You know the knock which I themselves at the copper, taking a mean; it comes like a lump of mutual pinch of snuff, and getting lead, and instantly wakes the maid things ready for the wash, they wbose business it is to get up,
take a snack at the promised hock; though she pretends not to hear it. for people of this profession have Another knock is inevitable, and always their appetite at hand, and it comes ; and then another ; but
every interval of labour is invastill Betty does not stir, or stirs riably cheered by the prospect of only to put herself in a still snugger having something at the end of it. posture, koowing very well that “ Well," says Mrs. Watson, finishthey must knock again. “ Now ing the last cut,_"some penple drat tbat Betty," says one of the thinks themselves mighty generous washerwomen,
" she hears as well for leaving one what little they as we do, but the deuce a bit will can't eat; but howsomever it's she move till we give her another;" better than nothing." "Ah," says and at the word another, down Mrs. Jones, who is a miuor genius, the knocker goes again.
one must take what one can get