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“ TO BE DELIVERED IMMEDIATELY.”

ENGRAVED BY J. WESTLEY, FROM A PAINTING BY G. ARMFIELD.

We remember some years ago-we'll not say “many;" for that would be neither just to ourselves nor correct to the reader—we remember then how, as schoolboys, we used to look for the monthly appearance of the N. S. M. with almost as much earnestness as to the vacation itself in prospective, or the next Saint Somebody due, whose graceship was to sanction us a day with the Oakley. We remember, too, particularly well, on one particular occasion, after scoring up a dozen or so of hexameters full of fine ideas and false quantities, falling pell-mell on a notice of Captain Medwin's • Angler in Wales." It was a dashingly-written de angliny et quibudun aliis affair, and even more dashingly reviewer by, as we suspect, about the best sporting critic that ever “cut into" an author. Well, one of the notabilities of the volume is a certain “fair Cambrian” the gallant Captain makes his bow to--a double-dyed Di Vernon, who trains her own race-horses, quotes old Sain Chifney's “Genius Genuine," lands her own salmon, breaks her own setters, &c., &c., &c. She is “discovered,” as the scene-shifters say, first of all in the old house at home, all ease, elegance, and full dress-with a rough terrier on the sofa beside her. We are coming to the point at last. In walks the Captain, ready to do the amiable; down jumps the terrier, ready to bite his head off. “ Lie down, Pepper!” says the lady to the dog, in a voice of authority ; and ihen to the gentleman, with a sweet smile of welcome, “ He won't hurt you, sir : it is a fancy of mine to have him about me; for he comes of a good sort, and I like bim much, for he's no varmint."

“And here," remarks the most sagacious reviewer, "our gallant author makes a sad mistake; for a varmint terrier is just the thing he should have made his heroine dote upon." Exactly so; for a terrier that is "no varmint" is a good deal like a race-horse without speed, or a prize-fighter without pluck. A real rough-andready varmint terrier, that will face a fox, unpack a hedgehog, kill a cat, and settle a rat with just one twist of the teeth-that's a terrier, if you likc; that's the sort the fair Cambrian ought to pet, and we to pourtray. Encore, then, here too our gallant artist has made a great mistake; for his terrier has little of the varmint in the act, however well he may promise it in the look. Mark young Clodpole, how he struts up to his "feyther," with the great grey-whiskered rogue in grain in his band, and the triumphant Boxer at his heels. it, I say, feyther!” says he,“ my little dog finished this here whopper in the barn, just now, in no time. An't he a good ’un ?" Or fancy the unction with which the Etonian details to the helpers how “ Bubble” and “Squeak” polished off old Mother Martin's great tom-cat, at the top of the Town Close. Or see Jack Joiner, the carpenter, make the most of a dog after he has done his duty in a go-in

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at the badger. All these are more easily imagined than described ; but conceive a rough-and-ready Scotch terrier glorying over a rabbit! Suppose a Life-guardsman charging a Trafalgar-square rioter! or a heavy swell going full tilt at a row of sheep-hurdles! There is little call for courage or proper varmint-practice in any such case.

Poor bunny is killed as soon as he's caught; and as for catching him, Miss Mary's spaniel, or the half-bred lurcher, would have done it quite as well, or better.

Rabbit-hunting, then, is not the terrier's own game; and though he may be a dab at it, such exploits as that depicted can bring him no great fame or reward. We pass it over this once; but rememler, Mr. Westley, next time we shall expect a little more sport for our money.

We take our line from the well-graced actor who preceded us, and declare war against the “no-varmint.”

THE ALBRIGHTON HOUNDS.

We have much pleasure in inserting the following circular letter, sent to us by a contributor, and addressed to the members of the Albrighton Hunt. These hounds, from the nature of their country, do not pretend to rank as a first-rate pack, yet they frequently afford good sport, and especially during the end of the last and throughout the present seasons, many of their runs having been, as we are informed, most excellent. The origin of these hounds, and the country they hunt, with the names of their various masters, and of the gentlemen who generally hunt with them, are mentioned in an early number of our work under the head of “ Shropshire as a hunting country," by “ Nimrod." The pack has for many years been kept by subscription, except for some few seasons, when Sir Thos. Boughey both kept and hunted them himself ; since then, and up to the present time, they have been under the management of Thos. Isolyoake, Esq., with a goodly subscription, for the last three seasons, of

£1,650 per annum. It gives us much gratification to learn from the letter before alluded to that a young nobleman, with every means and opportunity of doing so, like Lord Stamford, takes the expense and management upon himself, and one who, as a sportsman, we trust we shall soon see rivalling the late venerable and time-honoured “ Old Earl,” his grandfather, and more need not be wished ; for a more liberal landlord and sportsman never lived, or one more universally esteemed and beloved by every class ; may the present lord emulate his ancestor, and from all we hear of him as a sportsman and agriculturist this is likely to be the case. We have no doubt whatever his lordship will do justice to his new character as a master of fox-hounds, after the strenuous and successful exertions which have been so long made, and more especially for the last three years, in supporting these hounds during a period when so many other packs have disappeared ; nor have we any doubt but that under his lordship’s patronage, and with his known zeal, these hounds will soon become a first-rate provincial pack, if the country which they hunt

will but do its duty towards his lordship, and meet his exertions by preserving foxes, and thus be the means of inducing many gentlemen to remain on their property, spending their incomes amongst their poorer neighbours and workmen, rather than for want of country sports, of which hunting ranks the first, driving them to seek amusements elsewhere. In conclusion, we cannot but observe that to every nobleman and gentleman who keeps fox hounds, and to every contributor thereto, and to every preserver of foxes, as an inducement for doing so, a deep debt of gratitude is due from all those who live in the neighbourhood where fox-hounds are kept. We hear that Will Staples, so long the valued huntsman of the Shropshire hounds, and brought up under Sir Bellingham Graham, has been applied to once more to enter the field and hunt these hounds. The honourable testimonial of a piece of plate, presented to him when the Shropshire hounds were last year given up, and the high character he bears as a huntsman, may well warrant the anticipation we have expressed as to these hounds.

“DEAR —,- I have much pleasure in informing you the Albrighton Hounds will continue to hunt the same country they now do, and that, for the next two seasons, my Lord Stamford has kindly made arrangements that it shall be hunted without any subscription.

" The Committee take this opportunity of returning their thanks for your past patronage and support, and are requested by my Lord Stamford to solicit your continued exertions to preserve the foxes, and to do all in your power to promote the sport of the country.

“I am, yours truly, “Summer Hill, Kingswinford, near Dudley,

“ W. GRAZEBROOK, March 16th, 1848.”

Hon. Sec.

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A change has come o'er the spirit of the times. A little while, and managers were in full enjoyment of public patronage-now, the support afforded by those who affect public arnusenients is small in comparison. No one for a moment can wonder at such transition when viewing the unsettled aspect of affairs. It is notorious that in all times of political excitement theatres have been less attended than when there is nought to disturb the citizen of the world from pursuing “ the even tenour of his way.” This being admitted, directors of places of public entertainment must not marvel at the present unsatisfactory state of :heir treasuries. Let them bear in mind that the words of the poet of another century are no less pregnant with meaning in the present

“ Po bap so hard but may in fine amcvd.” The Operas, both old and new, are not signalized by an auspicious commeneement of the season. At the old house nothing but Verdi appears to be the onler of the day—a composer whose works find more favour in the eves of Mr. Lumley than in his subscribers'. The new opera of " Attila' possesses to a greater degree than any of his previous works the manifold faults of Verdi, without une solitary redeeming piece of merit; the most powerful instruments are pressed into service, the effect being to distress the ear with most inharmonious sounds-noise, noise, and nothing but most furious voise, “ signifying nothing.” The artistes exert themselves to their utmost, but all in vain. To make themselves heard Cruvelli, Garduni, and Belletti, are compelled literally to shout. Altogether, this composition cannot fail to be regarded in any other light than a most miserable failure.

At COVENT GARDEN, Alboni, in “ Tancredi," has cruelly disappointed the expectations indulged in, and the rich promise held out by her many successes of last year. Castellan and Roger have made favourable inipressions in “ Lucia di Lammermoor," although the Edgardo of the new tenor, it must be confessed, suffers greatly in comparison with Ru. bini, Moriani, and Salvi. Choregraphy appears not to be in favoured form at this house. The débutantes in the Divertissement cannot be mentioned for any one peculiar attribute ; Mademoiselle Marmet may be lithe and elastic to a degree, but an absence of originality of style is painfully manifest in all her saltatory efforts.

Webster, to make up for the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Kcan, has produced a translation from the French, which he styles “ Lavater," and, in addition, he has revived Colley Cibber's Double Gallant." The policy of this revival is very questionable. The taste of the theatrical-going public is very different to that of the frequenters of theatres at the period of its first production. All that can be effected in the way of acting and appointments it must be admitted is done at the HAYMARKET. The company, already strong, will shortly receive an important addition in Mr. Brooke ; the accession of this gentleman cannot fail to be hailed with no uncommon delight by his many admirers, who have witnessed with evident pain and regret the slovenly and miserable manner in which a performer of his unquestionable merits should have been hitherto supported (?) Sweethearts and Wives," in which poor Liston was wont to make every one forget such things as the “ blues,” serves as a vehicle for Keeley to exhibit his humour as Billy Lackaday, a character that he fills so well that the audience are, from first to last, kept on the broad grin.

The Happy Family” will not, we should imagine, dwell long together at the Lyceum. The materials might have sufficed for one act, but for two they are certainly meagre in the extreme. The whole strength of the company is marshalled, and the scenic arrangements are complete. Mr. Beverley having painted “ Harmony Hall" in the most natural and attractive manner. “ Not a Bad Judge” is pronounced by universal verdict to be a performance of undeniable merit. Charles Mathews, as Lavater, both in his costume and acting is ad

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mirable. “ Box and Cox” still run their rollicking career -- rather a lengthened one, too : more than 100 nights. Harley and Buckstone, as the jovial representatives of Box and Cox, extract as much laughter as ever from those who heartily rejoice in the vagaries of the twain comedians.

The representations of the FRENCH PLays are graced by the presence of the élite of the land. The most courtly and aristocratic audiences highly approve of the untiring exertions of Mr. Mitchell to provide the best class of novelty in rapid order. Nathalie has charmed all beholders by her lively, piquant, and brilliant style of acting. In "Le Gant et L’Eventail” this irresistible artiste elicits the most favourable opinions from all around. Lafont is now to be the particular star of St. James's.

Astley's AMPHITHEATRE will be in the course of a week closed, preparatory to the commencement of the summer season, for which Mr. Batty is making exertions of the most extraordinary description. Improvement in every department is contemplated. The system of abolishing the afterpiece, and devoting more attention to the scenes in the circle, is a change of a very satisfactory kind. People never visited Astley's for the purpose of witnessing farces of antiquity performed by those who could not lay claim to powers of a very high order. Give your audience well-executed acts of horsemanship, Mr. Batty, and you will better please them, and do more to increase your receipts, than by playing musty, fusty interludes. Easter Monday will be the occasion of the re-opening, when Mr. Batty intends to treat his many patrons with fare of no ordinary kind.

What a sorry state histrionic talent must be reduced to, if we are to accept for positive truth the announcement in the affiche of the OLYMPIC, of therein being assembled “the most powerful company of the day!” Mr. Brooke having seceded, there remains not one that would add dignity to a barn, or lend attraction to a booth.

Mr. Aldridge, “ The African Roscius,” has appeared at the SURREY in “ The Revenge,” and as Mungo, in “ The Padlock.” He decidedly possesses greater qualifications for tragedy than for farce. His conception of the part of Zanga is undoubtedly good. His performance evidences great study, and entitles to be ranked as a man of taste and judgment. By all means let him eschew the comic business, for that unquestionably is not his forte. What a relief it was to the audience when the personator of Alonzo ceased to inflict tortures of no ordinary nature upon his hearers by a series of the most hideous and melancholy mouthings ever howled by man or beast.

The late members of the Surrey company have taken refuge in the STRAND, and have formed themselves into a—we were about to add — common-wealth ; but from what we can gather, the state of the treasury anything but warrants the use of such a term.

The Casinos and the WALHALLA receive their share of patronage from those addicted to the dan and to tableaux vivans. Lady Godiva is just as attractive as ever : not so the horse which Madame Wharton exhibits. It would puzzle that under any circumstances to draw.

The PANORAMA of Vienna just opened is painted with that care and truth for which Mr. Burford is so celebrated.

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