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many a trout-stream and salmon-river, killing his own game and eating his own venison, surrounded and beloved by his clansmen

“My hawk is tired of perch and hood,

My idle greyhound loathes bis food,
My horse is weary of his stall,
And I am sick of captive thrall.
I wish I were as I have been,
Hunting the hart in forest-green,
With bended bow and bloodhound free,

For that's the life is meet for me."
Indeed, scarcely a quarter of a century has elapsed since the pos-
session of a Highland shooting quarter—a source of such great autumnal
enjoyment—was heard of, and frequently spoken of with delight and
longing by the genuine sportsman. At that period, however, it was a
gratification only practically known to, and participated in by, the
afluent or aristocratic members of society ; in fact, the possession of a
Highland shooting quarter inferred also a place in the highest ranks of
society, with the frequent addition of a stud at Melton, and a house in
the lordly west of the metropolis. The question, “Do you go to the
Moors this season ?" was uttered by the same voice which questioned
your attendance at Almack's or the Opera. And few such true high-
born cavaliers, of England at least, could practically speak in truth of
the blackcock and ptarmigan ; and even among these, how few have
pulled a trigger at the noble red deer, the fleet and bounding roe!
Whilst to those of a humbler class, or more humble means, although
their sporting qualities might be of the highest order and their aim
unerring, let them talk of thirty brace of partridges, twenty brace
of pheasants, five couple of woodcocks, nineteen hares, eleven rab-
bits, &c., as having fallen to their redoubtable Mantons between an
early breakfast and late dinner, yet grouse, ptarmigan, and blackcock
were never entered on their game-books. They heard of such
birds in Leadenhall market, and might, perchance, have seen them
on the table of a friend, or read of them on heathered mountains afar
off. They imagined the delight of shooting them ; and they might, oc-
casionally, perchance to fall on a paragraph in the daily journals which
informed them that the Right Honourable had, since the close of
the session, enjoyed sixteen days of splendid sport in the Highlands,
having bagged, with his own gun, two hundred and forty-three brace of
grouse, eighty-four blackcocks, seventy-three white mountain-hares, a
roe deer, seven brace of ptarmigan, and three golden plovers ; that his
health and appetite had been greatly renovated thereby ; and that he
had proceeded southwards to Doncaster previous to returning to Castle
Arden for the pheasant shooting, where he proposed receiving a select
party of sportsmen, and thence to Melton for the hunting season ; and
if such was true, though it be a vice, "we envy him."

They heard also that the Duke of Blair had killed nine stags, and missed five on account of the dreadful state of the weather-no fault of his, surely ; and that the chief of Glen Selfishstream, Sir Murray McPherson McGregor, Clan Alpine Macthousand--we trust he may pardon ushad surpassed all his former prowess in shooting of former years at his splendid moors near Creiff

, in the county of Perth. But the grouse shooting of other days is o'er ; that is to say,


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monopoly of this most charming sporting privilege is no longer confined to high blood or the millionaires of England, though the best of it, doubtless, will ever remain for the rich. For the Highland lairds have, with much truth, discovered the value of such property, and consequently a good price is demanded and readily paid for the exclusive enjoyment of this delightful sport. Yet are the shootings to be obtained far more numerous than heretofore, and consequently they may be secured at from fifty pounds to fifteen hundred per annum. Thus the true sportsman, though his means be confined, may still comparatively partake of all the numerous agrémens enjoyed by the more wealthy, while treading the sweet-scented heather in search of game. Some particulars of these shootings, both large and small however, good, bad, and indifferent, we shall hereafter endeavour to detail, for the information of all true sportsmen who desire to enjoy even one season of such glorious sport. And with all humility we undertake this pleasing task, yet practically and fearlessly, inasmuch as we scarcely know the hill-side or mountain-top, road, or beaten track, from rapid Tay to Pentland Frith, German Ocean to Irish Channel, that we have not seen or walked over ; though we confess to be no lover of the “banks and braes of bonny Scotland,” save as a fishing and grouse-shooting country, and this alone from June to September ; indeed it is the most unpleasing portion of her Majesty's dominions we have ever cast our eyes on, or spent a summer's, far more a winter's, day in. That it contains many a kind and hospitable heart we most fully admit, but they are in a pitiful minority ; and as for Scottish hospitality, so much vaunted, Scottish breakfasts, and Scotch abundance-believe us, they exist only in the anxious hopes of the tourist, or in the novels of Sir Walter Scott, who deserves all, and far more than he has ever received at the hands of his countrymen. But the romance which has found place in English minds, pictured by his glorious imagination, in stern reality is as great a fallacy as the news now crying through the streets of London, which means that the insolent vaunting of President Polk may be bought for sixpence but is not worth a farthing. We speak not of the natural beauties of the country, though they also will be found few and far apart. Indeed, divest Scotland of its romance and lakes, including of course Lochs Lomond, Katarine, Earn, Tay, and Loch Ness-in fact, that portion principally visited by our Sovereign during her recent tour—and no more desolate, bleak, and treeless portion of the wide world exists.

In days lang syne, we read and heard of the beauties of the Rhine ; nature in its loveliness has to us charms and enjoyments which we should vainly endeavour to describe, and, like others, we made the Grand Tour ; and we freely own to the gratification we experienced. Yet we love nature in the truthfulness of its delineation, and not exactly as it is pictured in the lively imagination of the enthusiast, and we therefore own that having also seen the river Thames from source to mouth, we feel satisfied that there are few rivers which can surpass it in beauty-none to exceed it. We had read Sir Walter Scott again and again : we heard of the Highlands : we had even listened to the song, “My heart's in the Highlands," from as pretty a pair of lips as are seen but once in a life ; but more, we heard of salmon taken with the fly, of 20lbs. in weight, and trout of half that size ; we heard of a hundred brace of grouse, and we were told of red deer, and roe deer, and of rough deer-dogs-noble animals ; even such sport as a chase of the deer, by these splendid brutes. Could we then refuse, when pressed repeatedly by a kind friend to visit his sporting quarters in the Highlands ? No, the temptation was far too great to be resisted ; and the manner in which we broke through all the barriers and difficulties which surrounded us, decided our fate in obtaining this great source of delight to a sportsman.

" • Times are changed,' said this friendly man;

There's a steamer from the docks, so no word of can;
There's a railway from E.-square on the narrow gauge plan,
There's a boat from Liverpool,' said this true gentleman.
• You may be in the Highlands in the pacing of a span ;'
Such inducements were held out by this gallant sportsman.
So warmly we replied, 'We'll come, be it in a van;
But the money is the rub for a poor gentleman ;
Yet we'll borrow or steal a few pounds if we can,
Of our banker in the city, who's a canny Scotsman ;
We can pay them to his uncle, the chief of his clan,

When we meet in the bothy of that proud Highland man." This latter determination we, of course, at once proceeded to put in force ; and having been successful, with a purse tolerably well filled — anticipations of sport, dogs, grouse, romantic scenery, marmalade from Keillor's short-bread, salmon, and whiskey for the asking, we jumped into a cab, drove as directed to Euston-square, deposited ourselves in a comfortable first-class carriage, and went off with a whistle and a puff for Liverpool. The scent was good, and we ran into the tunnel of this celebrated sporting place with only one slight check at Birmingham, owing to the odours which arose and fumigated the air from the kitchen of the Queen's Hotel. During this check, however, we had ample time to decide on the merits of this celebrated railway restaurante—at least, as far as we were individually concerned ; and we only do justice to the landlord when we declare that it has rarely been our good fortune to obtain such excellent cookery and such ample fare for the trifling demand of two shillings as we did on that occasion, when, seated at the board with some threescore or more of as hungry and determined eaters as could easily be found on a keen autumnal morning. Mange qui peut, and as much as you can for your money, appears to be the decision come to by general acclamation at such gastronomic halting-places on such occasions ; and we may fairly and truly add, that if all the party there assembled ate as we did—and, in good faith, most of the company there, according to sporting phraseology, were tolerably good feeders—why, then they had the worth of their siller, and no mistake. Yet they tell us the concern is a most profitable one ; and we sincerely trust it may long continue so to be, if things are kept up in the same style of plenty and comfort. Ad interim, we shall be glad to acknowledge one of the landlord's celebrated potted tongues, whenever time and inclination may suit him to offer one to our taste and approval. The Editor of Mag., however, like ourselves, doubtless prefers a short and quick run, with blood at the end of it. At all events, he may be assured we shall never have any objection to bleed him ; although, whenever we have the pleasure of hunting on his property, if there be more than one “ cheque" during the chace, we will endeavour to put the ill luck in our pockets. So, forward, gentlemen !-We stood on the deck of the Princess Royal,” a celebrated steamer from Liverpool to Glasgow, and vice versâ in twenty hours, weather permitting seldom the case. We had a tolerable Havannah in our mouth, and a warm coat on our back, The weather was fine, the wind was fair, and a grouse-hill was in our imagination. What could we desire more? "A glass of hot brandy-and-water, steward !' “ Hot brandy. and-water ?-Yes, sir !” And it quickly arrived ; thus we sipped and puffed, puffed and sipped, and looked upon the rippling waters, and thought—what? why simply that we felt very jolly, when lo! a lanky, red-haired, male individual stood beside us, and also smoked and looked, not upon the briny deep, but very dirty, and somewhat merry withal or with whiskey, with which he was mightily perfumed ; and he said in a language, a few words of which we shall only endeavour to repeat

“ Ye'r ganging to bonny Scotland, I ken ?
This was sufficiently explicit ; and we courteously replied
“We hope to visit the Highlands."
Ah! you're on a shooting excursion, doubtless ?''
“ We hope to have some sport.
" And you're a first-rate shot, we presume ?"

“A tolerable hand at partridges ; but we never shot a grouse.no, never,"

" Then you will soon have another tale to tell. You should ken the Isle of Skye. I have been out in the morning before breakfast, and killed four stags on Macdonald's ground; and after breakfast I have had a bang at the grouse and bagged my fifty brace. Then I've dined, you see ; and in the evening had a cast for a salmon, and killed some 20 lbs. before nightfall."

We had heard of Lord Macdonald's splendid deer forest in the Isle of Skye, and of the grouse-hills, and of the fishery : and we declare to have seen there as fine a sight as sportsman need cast his eye on one brilliant evening in July, viz.-a herd of some fourscore red-deer. But the assertions of our red-haired friend we could not swallow, as we had the brandy-and-water. Will it be believed, sporting readers, that the relater of such exploits was none other than an exciseman, who never had pulled a trigger, save at a gull! and yet such sport as he thus named in Skye is by no means actually impossible for a first-rate sportsman. Having satisfied ourselves, however, that his rhodomontade, if not exactly to be credited, was amusing--so amusing that we regret the space allowed us does not admit of our giving many of his wonderful exploits to your notice ---we submitted, till another and another glass of whiskey laid him snoring on the deck, and a few short hours saw the moon sink, and the sun rise in brilliancy on the heathered hills of Scotland as we entered the Clyde, of which river we will leave tourists to write, though we fear we shall never agree in their praises of it-save in a commercial point of view. The Isle of Arran was, however, in sight ; and to us this had far greater charms, and those of another nature ; for there the noble reddeer ranges in pride and freedom, there the beautiful and glossy feathered blackcock and the heather-feeding grouse are abundantly to be found. This glorious shooting quarter is the property of the Duke of Hamilton, and is generally shot over during the season by his son, the Marquis of Douglas, and his friends. The game is abundant and well preserved ; and there are few spots in Scotland more desirable as a shooting quarter, being easy of access, beautiful by nature, plentiful

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in game of all kinds, not difficult to preserve, and easily walked over. But we must steam on to Glasgow, and thence to the fair city of Perth. We have little inclination, however, to give our readers an account of the one city or the other, as many have done so before us, and doubtless more ably, and our pen is that of a sportsman--not of a tourist : yet we could tell a tale or two of both ; we shall content ourselves, however, by the simple observation that the citizens of the former are mercantile and proud, and those of the latter equally proud and somewhat less mercantile. But there are sportsmen, and good ones in both, and some kind, good, and hospitable fellows---gentlemen with whom we ate grouse and salmon, and trout, and tasted whiskey-toddy cold with, and hot without, as also in its nature unadorned. But strange to say that we never could abide it, and from the hour wę first entered the Trongate of Glasgow to that of our embarking from the Bromielaw on our return to England, the smell, always disagreeable to us, never fairly quitted our nasal organs.

(To be continued.)




“ I was born so high,
Our eyrie buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun."

Ere I begin to recount the life and adventures of one of the noblest and most sagacious of quadrupeds, I must be permitted to make a few brief remarks by way of introduction. For although a preface is somewhat unusual to an article designed for a magazine, still, as there will be several links previous to the arrival at the end of our chain of events, the exception may perchance meet with lenient consideration.

There is a licence ceded to writers of leaving matters shrouded in mystery, which to unveil would be a task not only of great

hardship, but one of extreme imprudence. To give no scope whatever to the imagination of the reader, and prevent the expansion of his inventive powers, would prohibit the good old standard rule of " allowing people to think as they please.” How frequently do we see this charming sentence, the author of which merits eternal gratitude from every scribe living after him—“far easier to be conceived than to be described”! To be sure ; no doubt can rest upon the honest and wholesome aphorism. It is a fact-a great, an undeniable fact—that immense facility is rendered to the labours of literature by adopting this maxim. Whenever difficulties arise, nothing can be easier than to make a stop-gap with--"far easier to be conceived than to be described," and thus, in accordance with the village schoolmistress who permitted her scholars to skip all the hard words, obstacles are overcome with the perfection of comfort and pleasantry to all parties concerned.

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