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The incidents of this deer drive were numerous and exciting; but our limits will not permit us to detail them as they deserve. Beset on all sides, the herd darts in gallant array across the meadow, rushes through the rocky channel of the Tilt, and, reeking and steaming,' scamper right up the face of the great mountain, pursued by ruthless riflemen, exhausted drivers, and half-blown dogs. The skirmish now begins. The herd collect into a dense mass, each deer wedging himself into 'it as he finds he is the particular object of attack. Not a single hart fell out; and the hounds at length returned with slinking ' countenances and drooping sterns, and, lolling out their tongues, they lie panting on the greensward.' In this encounter the Duke of Atholl killed three first-rate harts, and Lightfoot (Mr Edwin Landseer) slew two, and other rifles did proportional execution. A French Count distinguished himself pre-eminently on this occasion by an achievement which is too ludicrous to be omitted. His voluble tongue, and his perennial music, disturbed too frequently the silence which the deer chase o imperiously demands. After missing many fair shots, he directed his rifle ' right towards the middle of a dense herd of deer.'
6 Every thing was propitious-circumstance, situation, and effect; for he was descending the mountain in full view of our whole assemblage of sportsmen. A fine stag in the midst of the herd fell to the crack of his rifle, "Hallo, hallo!"-forward ran the Count, and sat upon the prostrate deer triumphing. "Hé bien, mon ami, vous êtes mort, donc ! Moi, je fais toujours des coups sûrs. Ah! pauvre enfant!" He then patted the sides of the animal in pure wantonness, and looked east, west, north, and south for applause, the happiest of the happy; finally, he extracted a mosaic snuff-box from his pocket, and with an air which nature has denied to all save the French nation, he held a pinch to the deer's nose, —“ Prends, mon ami, prends donc !" This operation had scarcely been performed, when the hart, who had only been stunned, or perhaps shot through the loins, sprang up suddenly-overturned the Count-ran fairly away, and was never seen again. "Arrêtes toi, traitre! arrêtes, mon enfant. Ah, c'est un enfant perdu! Allez donc à tous les diables." -P.228-229.
Among the other events of this day's sport was the chase and capture of the Gown-cromb of Badenoch, a noted blacksmith and poacher, whose fowling-piece had disturbed a large parcel of deer which ought to have joined the general herd. When brought before the Duke, his Grace asked him whether he would go to Perth jail for three months, or stand a shot from his rifle at a hundred paces. The blacksmith chose the alternative of the bullet; and the ground being measured, and the poacher placed in position, the Duke called for his best rifle, and having taken a long and steady aim, the life of the poacher was prolonged, and
the breathless suspense of the hillmen intermitted by the explosion of the copper cap! The Duke called for another rifle, better primed-the blacksmith neither flinched nor stirred,' but the rifle again uttered its shrill note of mercy. The courage of the poacher was rewarded with his fill of whisky; and though he promised never to revisit the braes of Atholl, yet he confessed to the Duke that he couldna aye be without venison,' and that he would find mony a stoot hart in Glenfiddich, and mony a yell hind in the pine-woods of Braemar.'
After the fatigues of the chase, Mr Scrope proceeds in his eighth chapter to recount some of those interesting adventures of poachers and freebooters, which tradition never fails to preserve in the land of rocks and mountains. These stories possess various kinds of interest; but two of them, which narrate very recent events, are especially deserving of notice. The first recounts a desperate struggle between a deer and a poacher, who very lately plied his vocation in Glen Tilt:
'He set off in the evening,' says Mr Scrope, that he might be on a deer cast in the grey of the morning. Whilst it was dark, he descried the horns of a deer in a hollow very near him; he had small shot only in his gun, and was in such a position that he could not change the charge without danger of disturbing the stag. He crept, however, so close to him, that when he sprung on his legs he fell to the shot. Not a little surprised, the poacher threw down his gun, dashed forward, and seized his victim by the hind leg; but it was no easy matter to hold him. In the struggle the man kept his gripe firmly, whilst the deer dragged him at a tearing pace amongst the large stones and birch hags, till he was all over bruises, his legs severely lacerated, and his clothes torn to shreds. His bonnet and plaid had entirely disappeared.
He now contrived to get hold of his knife, but it dropped in the struggle; and as the deer still sustained its vigour, he had much ado to keep hold of the limb, even with both his hands. The darkness became deeper as the animal tore and strained forward through the skirts of birch-wood, and both repeatedly fell together.
Breaking forth again into the open moor, he found his weight was beginning to tell on the energy of the stag, so that he had power to swing him from side to side, till at length, just as they were re-entering the wood, this determined bull-dog of a fellow fairly laid him on his broadside, and with such force that the crush seemed to stun him.
Stripped almost naked as the man was, his shirt and kilt torn to tatters, and his hose and brogues nearly gone, he still contrived, by means of his garters and shirt belt, to secure the deer by binding his hind leg to a birch-tree. Having accomplished this with great difficulty, he returned for his gun, and thus at length secured his victim.'-P. 260
After giving an account of the celebrated Gaelic poet and deerstalker, Rob Doun, which he has quoted from this Journal for
July 1831, and to which we refer our readers, Mr Scrope gives an account of another day's sport, in which his party were summoned to deal with three fine harts feeding on the swell of Ben Dairg. Tortoise and Lightfoot had, with great difficulty, got within sight of their game, and were about to occupy a little knoll covered with tufts of heather, when a chuckling moorcock sprung up from the heath, and caused the deer to break over the hill when the sportsmen had almost placed their fingers upon the trigger. This disappointment was, however, amply compensated by the brilliant success which attended the remaining operations of the day.
In the very interesting narrative of this day's sport, Mr Scrope introduces the following remarkable account of an incident which happened in 1837, to the forester of Cluny.
In passing through the forest of Stramashie, near Loch Laggan, he descried the horns of a stag above the heather at some distance; and taking advantage of the cover of a grey stone on the lee side of the animal's lair, crept cautiously up to him while he was apparently asleep. He had no rifle, but opened his deer knife, which he placed between his teeth that his hands might be freed, and then threw himself suddenly upon the stag. Up started the astonished beast, and sprung forward with Donald on his back, who grasped him with might and main by the horns, to keep his seat in a sportsman-like manner: no easy matter, I trow; for the animal made right down the rugged side of a hill with headlong speed, to a stream in the glen below, and dashed through it, still bearing his anxious rider with the knife in his hand, which he had neither time nor ability to use. When, however, this gallant pair reached the opposite side of the glen, and the deer began to breast the hill and relax his speed, Donald was enabled so far to collect his bewildered senses as to get hold of his knife; and he absolutely contrived to plunge it into his throat. The deer fell forward in the death-struggle, and Donald made a somerset of course.'-P. 281-282.
A struggle of a different kind took place between a celebrated deer-stalker, who, while hunting in the island of Jura with his deer-hounds, came suddenly upon three magnificent stags. He had no rifle ; but after a long pursuit he came up with one of the deer standing at bay in some long heather, and quite exhausted. The dog lay within a few yards of him apparently done up.
'As soon, however, as his master shouted his name, the gallant brute sprung at the stag's throat, and a desperate battle ensued, in which the dog was tossed three times in the air, before his owner could get quite up; and was thus severely wounded. When the sportsman, who had only a little herd-boy with him, reached the arena, the stag, without attempting to make off, thrust at them right and left, wheeling round and round to defeat every attempt to grapple with him; the boy had his leg
severely lacerated, when the deer-stalker, who is a most muscular and powerful man, dashed in and seized the animal by the horns. The contest was desperate and doubtful; at length they both came to the ground, when the hunting-knife finished the contest.-P. 282-283.
The same sportsman, when shooting sea-fowl among the rocks of Colonsay, wounded a large seal basking on the shore. The seal, however, was scuffling over the rocks on his way to the
When our enthusiastic sportsman sprung from the boat, and grappling with the slippery brute just as he had reached the water, plunged headlong with him into the sea, where a singular conflict ensued, sometimes under water and sometimes in view, before the people in the boat could manage to get hold of either of the combatants. At length, however, they succeeded in dragging both the young laird and his fat friend into the boat, to the great merriment and relief of his companions.'-P. 284.
Mr Scrope devotes his tenth chapter to the subject of the original Scottish greyhound, and treats with his usual skill the useful topics of leading and starting the deer-hounds, and the equally useful one of feeding and bleeding them. In his eleventh chapter he gives an interesting account of his last and best day's sport in the Forest of Atholl, when the Duke gave him the sole occupation of the forest, and commissioned him to kill as many harts as possible. We can, only state that the toils of the day were rewarded by eight fine harts. This chapter terminates with the Hon. Mr Liddel's poem, entitled The Moors,' which embodies the brightest lights and the deepest shadows of the deer-chase.
In the twelfth, and concluding chapter of the work, Mr Macneill of Colonsay gives a learned history of the Highland deer-hound, and a pleasing account of a day's decr-coursing in the Island of Jura, which every reader will peruse with interest.
Brief and imperfect as the preceding abstract is, we think that it will fully justify the high praise we have bestowed on this work, and induce our readers to sit down to the luxurious repast from which we have risen. We must confess, however, that in closing it, the triumphs of the chase have not left on our minds impressions wholly unalloyed; and we feel ourselves in the same cheerless glen' from which Mr Scrope acknowledges that he looks upon those distant and sunny scenes of his life.' It cannot be that we wish to rejoice again over the bleeding hart ;to witness, in their last convulsions, the glazed eye and the palsied limb of the tender hind;-or to see the ferocious bloodhound tearing and disfiguring the noblest forms of life and beauty. Every season of our pilgrimage has its appropriate enjoyments; and the occupations of our spring would form an unsuitable em
ployment for the winter of our age. The pleasures, too, which
ART. III.-1. Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War by France in 1793 to the Accession of George IV. By WILLIAM JAMES. Edited by CAPTAIN CHAMIER, R.N. 6
vols. 8vo. London: 1837.
2. History of the Navy of the United States of America. By J. FENIMORE COOPER, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1839.
T is now sixteen years since the late Mr James completed the first edition of the most perfect and comprehensive Naval History ever published. In 1816, according to his preface, he published his first naval work-a pamphlet upon the merits of the principal naval actions of the late American War. In 1817 this was succeeded by a single octavo volume, entitled Naval Occurrences between England and America.' In 1819 the present work was undertaken; a second edition, with numerous and important additions, appeared in 1826; and the present` one was completed in 1837. During the whole of this time, this important work has not, we believe, been the subject of deliberate criticism; and the few cursory remarks upon it which we