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2013. in ne vid order of “ take the lead and keep it,” *.--iv.mm end to end as hard he could crack, it might possil

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* Le Futek will tell how truly a race is run ; and he

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• Beer Fre es mide assisce for all that," says the critic.

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place take the time of the July, the New Stake, the Champagne, or something of that cut; then get the same weights up, and the same distance out, and put the young ones in motion, some fine morning at fifty-five minutes and fifty-three seconds and a half past five. And then ye gods ! then, if coming as hard as they can come with the old plater that made play dying away at every stride, they finish by the new stop-watch some seconds under Ascot, or the Newmarket New T. Y. C.then they —that is, master and man-can feel happy, can eat a hearty breakfast, and take twenty to one about the winner for the Derby, and engage the whole “ dump” in every still unclosed stake in the kingdom.

Such things have been done before now, and who shall say but the newly paraded chronometers may induce some unhappy man to do so again? Before, however, it comes to such a calamity, let your obedient servant, in the celebrated character of “

some d

-d good-natured friend or another” test the felicity of our home-taught acquaintance. Maybe then, for query number one, the winner of the July, although you say she only won by a neck, might have run all the faster, if like your lot she had run all the way? And maybe again, for query number two, there is some slight difference between your method of measuring time and that of the express press gentlemen sent down to Newmarket? The first of these doubts has already been illustrated in public running measured by public running; as indeed might the second also, for nothing can be more ridiculously at variance than the time tables published. To stick though to the private, I cannot bring myself to believe that the time of a trial is once in twenty truly given ; or, consequently, that the least reliance should be placed upon it. If picked men, or picked races, in all impartiality of spirit, make so widely different estimates, what can we expect from the fond owner or trainer, who so proverbially believes in what he hopes, and leans and looks so determinedly oue way ? The most striking case I ever knew of the trial by time, was that of a half-bred horse a yeoman was preparing for a hunter's stake, the wonders the said cocktail gradually arrived at coming really very close on a plump contradiction to his impure origin. What he did“ by Shrewsbury clock,” on first getting into work, was somewhat extraordinary and proportionately encouraging ; while the week before running he was proclaimed as having achieved what the editor of Bell's Life * will deny every other week, viz., the Eclipse tradition of running a mile in a minute !-Authenticated of course.

So much for the advantage derived from, and reliance to be placed on the timing of horses, either in public or private-an unfavourable summing up, which the peculiar practice of it hitherto in this country does not tend in any way to decrease. Amongst other charges, I find I have denounced the time-test as “ snobbish,” a term certainly just now pretty well used-up, but which still I would not wish to withdraw. Hard in. deed would it be for me to picture the great men of Newmarket heath

“ There is no authenticated record of a horse running a mile in a minute." Answers to Correspondents. The following also appeared in the same Paper not

fortnight since:—“Our correspondent from the Swan River talks of a half-bred norse running a mile in a minute and six seconds, and yet is anxious to improve he breed. We recommend him to re-purchase him from the Isle of France, and xport him to England, where the mile, by thorough-bred horses, is rarely done under a minute and forty seconds."

the Lord Georges, the Grevilles, the Ansons, and others-looking more to the action of the watch than that of the crack ; while on the other hand, for the “ nobby kids ” of Peckham, or the Hampton Court road, it is the very instrument I should suppose

their wages

would rest upon. Trotting and time-keeping have always gone hand in hand, and many may, perhaps, very naturally ask why they should not continue so oldestablished a fellowship? In answer to this I will enter no farther on the subject than by merely stating one simple fact connected with the American trotters—a country, be it remembered, in which the time is said to be very strictly regarded. There more than one horse, afterwards imported in his prime to this country, has (by the watch and the report) accomplished his twenty miles within the hour ; a feat, however, which not one as yet, either home or States bred, has succeeded in on our side of the water! Surely this might give one very reasonable doubts as to the value of the watch, even when matched with the harness-horse ; while reaching another remove, its use cannot be too severely reprobated. Of all the horribly low and cruel contrivances in any possible degree associated with British sports, I can call to mind none much worse than that gin-shop, cut-throat, "copper hell,” kind of affair, a galloping match against time—a match in which some half-drunken butcher of a fellow is placed upon a (generally) good game old hack to gallop against himself, and to effect what one half of the knowing ones have already duly considered as an impossibility. Horse against horse, head for head, stride for stride, and we will call it sport, and honour it as such ; but with the watch, and nothing but the watch to strive against, it sinks to a disgrace that in the full sense of the old saw “ beats cock-fighting.” Indeed, all things considered, I question whether we should not form our true sportsman like Sir Bulwer Lytton Lytton Bulwer does his grand creation-Henry Pelham, Esq.-without the necessity for any Watch at all.

HIGHLAND SPORTS, AND SPORTING QUARTERS.

BY LINTON.

MEGGERNIE CASTLE, INVERMORISTON, ETC. The castle of Meggernie is situated in Glen Lyon, Perthshire, a small, narrow and secluded valley, which reaches almost to the confines of Argyleshire, and is in truth one of the most romantic and beautiful to be found throughout the Scottish dominions. The house-or, more properly speaking, the castle, for it bears in parts much the resemblance of an ancient French chateau—is placed almost in the centre of the above-named valley or glen, in a singularly sequestered part of the country, being actually some fourteen or fifteen miles from the residence of any but one other laird or proprietor, and about the same distance from a medical man or post-office-two most essential neighbours in so remote a locality. A noble avenue, principally of lime-trees, running parallel with the river Lyon for the best part of a mile—and which avenue, were it within twenty miles of the metropolis, from its natural beauties would attract thousands--forms the approach of Meggernie from the east. The castle itself stands clear on a beautiful lawn (which it might be), and grassy park (which it really is); on which are scattered some of the finest trees to be found in the Highlands. The place, in fact, is one of peculiar beauty and interest, not only from the position, which appears as if isolated from the rest of the world, but also from its great antiquity and neighbourhood to the scenes of many a bloody Highland conflict.

The house is one of those ancient piles, constructed in times of danger, where strength was the first and greatest object ; the walls are accordingly of immense thickness, and the doors defended by iron gratings of prodigious size and weight. A donjon excavated from the foundations, is even to the present day adorned with hooks, on which the finishing stroke of the law, or rather the will of barbarous and despotic chiefs, has, we are told, been frequently executed. Alas! would the ghosts of some of these departed victims but deign to make their appearance in this said donjon during the shooting season, we question whether they would not be somewhat "mazed," as the Scotch term it, and instead of resuming their places as “ damp, moist bodies' on the hooks, they would, probably, hang a cauldron thereon, in which to make a stew of the abundant game they there would find, or mull a few bottles of good port or claret, with which the bins that now adorn its sides are well filled. In all other respects it remains as in the time of Robert the Second.

There is much accommodation and all required comfort to be found in the interior of Meggernie castle, both as regards the more modern portion of the building, as also in the fine old tower, which forms one of its extremities, and is divided into many good sleeping apartments, to which the turrets form admirable dressing-rooms ; none of them are, however, large, which is not surprising when we consider the remote age in which they were built, and the great object of safety which the founders must have kept in view. Some old portraits, both of the Menzies branch, as also of the Stewarts of Cardnay, adorn the walls ; likewise those of the late Mr. and Mrs. Menzies. The proprietor is descended in the male line from Sir John Stewart of Cardney, son of King Robert the Second, from whose eldest son he is the fifteenth in descent. From the second son of Sir John the family of Stewart of Dalgarne, in Athol, is descended. By the female line Mr. Menzies possesses the estates of Meggernie and Culdares, and is a branch of the family of Menzies, of Castle Menzies, chief of the same.

The present owner of Meggernie has very recently attained his majority, and he wisely prefers following the example of numerous other Highland lairds, of letting his ancient chateau, and its glorious shooting manors, to a noble and generous English sportsman, who keeps the one from falling to decay, and preserves the other with the greatest care, to residing in a place which, notwithstanding its many beauties, save in the sunny months of summer or autumn, would be a sort of living grave. But we must dwell as briefly as possible on family history or historical facts, and lead on, as quickly as may be, to those details more congenial to our sporting readers, or say, doubtless in the feelings, if not in the words, of many a Highland chieftain who formerly lived on his own domain, consisting of some leagues of heathered hills, watered by

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