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bring these stray remarks to a close, sincerely wishing good sport to all who may penetrate the far north in the approaching seasons
Banks of the Almon, July 13th, 1852.
P.S.-Since writing the abovë, we have had another week among the mountains, and have rented a large traet of grouse shootings forther experience but inereases the promise of sport. Most of the broods are strong on the wing, and will require strong and straight powder to kill them ; in all our wanderings we have only seen one brood of chirpers. Many of the packs are large in numbers, and average from 8 to 10 birds in each ; several, indeed, which we put op reached 12 birds-of course including the parent birds in our statement. We may also add that the grouse are now past all danger from the weather ; and if the moors are properly guarded, there can be nothing to spoila glorious campaign. Let us, however, warn the shooter who may rent or have a good moor, to look well to it, for of late years too many birds have found their way to market long before the opening of the season. This disgraceful practice ought to be stopped'; and with proper vigilance that injured man, the sportsman himself, may do much to diminish it.
BROOKLANDS: A SPORTING BIOGRAPHY. By Major Byng Hall. Newby,
Welbeck-street. Our readers have already had a taste of this work, although it is considerably extended in the volumes before us. The career of an English country gentleman, his happy position at home, with his feelings and doings as a sportsman, wherever he may be quartered, are very attractively set before us by our gallant contributor. He has got the great secret for this kind of thing-of being thoroughly at home himself in every scene he gives you. And he is no ways squeamish, either, in telling the story just as he himself thinks it over. It is absolutely re. freshing, in these days of “universal progression” and “ hurrah for. everybody!” to find any one standing up so manfully for old times the good old days when “ everybody” knew his proper place ; when the old squire was the greatest man alive; and farmers were farmers, and nothing more ; and clerks didn't go a-hunting; and lawyers were thieves, as a matter of course ; and railways infernal inventions, and. as infernal innovations. Certainly, for a gentleman who devoted a good-sized volume to writing up the Great Exhibition of 'Fifty-one, the Major does maintain his respect for our ancient institutions and customs as heartily as we could expect. And we don't blame him, either—far from it, indeed. His “ Squire Western” picture is as true a one as any we have seen for many a long day, and is none the worse for the evident admiration and sympathy the author has with his subject. There are many a lad, and many a lass too, will get a glimpse of home out of Brooklands, and be all the better for the " auld lang syne" it may recall. If any. thing, the romance of the book is too much in the Minerva-press, style
“Sister mine" and " brother mine,” and “ darling Fred” and the “ laughter-loving one," won't bear much repetition anywhere ; and the Major gives us a little too strong a dose of it. We have no great faith, ourselves, in these over-affectionate phrases. We know an old brute who, when his daughter--a quiet, shy girl is pressed to exhibit, will walk up to her before half-a-hundred people with " Now, my dearest Mary, my own child, you know that opening scene in Norma so wellcome, now, darling!” And then the old villain will give her a pinch on the arm enough to make her face the Whissendine, and up he leads her--the most affectionate father in all England. There is seldom much heart in the maximè pii.
“Brooklands” is now further assisted by some very clever lithographs after sketches by a Mr. Horlor, a Cheltenham artist. His spaniels, terriers, and water-fowl are especially good ; but, on the other hand, he has not much idea yet of either a hound or a hunter.
HUTSPOT ; A TALE FOR THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. Longmans. The author of this curiously-ehristened volume--more commonly read Hodge-podge" declares in his preface that his is not a mere love-tale, nor a sporting story alone, nor of grave politics solely, but a sort of tria juncta in uno---ready for you anywhere, wherever you like to have it. Of course, we know nothing in our shire about handsqueezing or eye-making, no more than we do about Chancery-reforming or Roman Catholics ; and so we hoik on at once to the sporting. Hark to him here ! A great swell comes galloping up Rotten-row, supposed to be a little too deep in the Racing Calendar ; and this is the way he talks about it ;
“God mrning, Miss St. Just,” he said, doffing with easy gallantry his white beaver hat, with crape" a beautiful afternoon for a ride; but I see you prefer a walk. I was at Newmarket yesterday, Harry. There was a fine heat between Dunstan ville's mare and Yeovil's; and we had very good fun with the gentlemenriders. The entries for our Cup next month are very numerous."
The gentleman with the easy gallantry and white hat and crapevery genteel, that—may have been at Newmarket, but we will take short odds his friend Hutspot never has. We willingly admit he is more at home in his Highland sporting scenes ; but he whips off very early here, and his best bit--the fight with the salmon-only serves to remind us how much better it has been done before. If we did mark him down at all, it would be into Chancery-lane, and there we should advise him to stop. His sketch of the old waiter at “the Cock," and the “ new bread or stale ?" are quite touches of nature, and beat his "course of true love” and rural life all to sticks--or “ in the very commnonest of canters," as the man with the white hat would word it.
Another gem of Fores's Marine Series has lately maile its appearanee. It is hight " The Cutter Yacht Volante," drawn by T. S. Robins, and exquisitely
lithographed by E. T. Dolby. The scene is that in whick
the R.T.Y.C. champion won the Challenge Cup "all out”-the second time, as related to that achievement, and one of her seven victories. The sailing world is indebted to that enterprising firm for a unique yachting gallery, in fitting keeping with the taste of the time, in every sense of the term.
FORES'S CONTRASTS.--" The Driver of 1832: The Driver of 1852,"
“ The Guard of 1832 : The Guard of 1852." Painted by H. Alken, and engraved by J. Harris.
Tempora mutantur"--but to ourself, as regards the subject of these “ Contrasts,” the remainder of the hexameter does not apply. We cannot but remeniber the palmy road and its accessories—“that such things were, and were most dear to us." It is in vain the Great Western laughs space to scorn, and takes no account of time. Where is our accustomed afternoon on the box of the “ Age," and Bob Brackenbury's eulogy on our “ weed” ?
Where are those martyred saints, the four-horse drags ?
And where-oh, where the devil are the nags ? These sketches are sadly suggestive of the reply—all but utterly obliterated! You see “ The Driver of 1852," how he is preparing to dash over “ The Driver of 1832 "-we cannot pursue the melancholy analysis any further. The execution of the design, in its amplest meaning, is to the matter made. Let the plates find a gracious nook in the snuggery where the minions of the road still mourn over
The days when we went teaming it,
A long time ago, instead of steaming it-faugh!
HARRY HIEOVER ON THE TILTER. Messrs. Ackermann, of the Strand, have just published a full-sized coloured print devoted to the above portraits. The horse and figure are by Hieover himself; while the human likeness—and a very capital one it is -- has been judiciously entrusted to another hand. The print is excellently turned out, and gives a good notion of a business-like sportsman going over a country in a very business-like way. There is not a strap or a buckle on man or horse but has its place and its purpose. As this is the third or fourth portrait the gentle public has been favoured with, we trust they may soon be able to swear to the identity. We can answer for it they may, by this alone.