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In an age of great
forehead, long face, and sour eyelids.' magnificence in dress, Raleigh was conspicuous; and particularly for the silver armour in which, as Captain of the Guard, he rode abroad with the Queen. One of his portraits mentioned by Aubery shows him dressed in a white sattin doublet, all embroidered with rich pearls, and a mighty rich chain of great pearls about his neck.'
The various qualities which fit men for action and for speculation were conjoined in Raleigh, and by turns displayed, in so eminent a degree, that he seemed,' as Fuller observed, to be like Cato Uticencis, born to that only which he was ' about.' His mind presents a surprising union of strength and versatility; of intellectual and practical power; and of an observing, reflective, and philosophical, with a highly imaginative or poetical temperament. These diverse faculties and aptitudes, combined in that strong degree in which he possessed them, constitute the grand and individualizing features of his mental character. In that rarest, perhaps, of intellectual gifts -that which enables the individual to rise above the acquisitions and modes of thinking of his own, and to anticipate those of times yet to come, he has, and by no incompetent judge assuredly, been thought worthy to be classed with even the immortal founder of the inductive philosophy. "Notwithstanding the diversity of their professional pursuits, and the strong contrast of their characters, these two men,' says Mr Stewart, speaking of Bacon and Raleigh, exhibit in their capacity of authors some striking features of resemblance. Both of them owed to the 'force of their own minds their emancipation from the fetters of the schools; and both were eminently distinguished above their contemporaries by the originality and enlargement of their philosophical views.' † An incidental remark by Cecil, contained in a private letter, has apprised us of his possession of a power scarcely less enviable than original genius itself; and to which the extent of his acquisitions, so surprising in a man of such active pursuits, was no doubt ascribable. He can toil terribly,' were the words of the Secretary; and the intimation, though brief, furnishes a valuable addition to our knowledge of his character.
Naunton describes him as gifted with a bold and plausible
* Aubery's Lives, vol. ii. p. 511.
+ Dissert. on the Hist. of Met. and Eth. Philosophy.
See Appendix to Mrs Thomson's Life of Raleigh, in which this letter-otherwise valuable, as showing that he was beloved by his immediate dependents-was first printed.
tongue.' The same author, who was any thing rather than partial, adds, that Queen Elizabeth was much taken with his elocution, loved to hear his reasons, and took him for a 'kind of oracle.' But the strongest proof of his attraction in this way was, that even Essex preferred his conversation to that of most of his own friends. I have often observed,' said Sir Arthur Gorges, speaking of Essex, that both in his 'greatest actions of service, and in his times of cheerfulest recreations, he would ever accept of his (Raleigh's) counsel and company, before many others that thought. themselves more in his favour.'* Yet, notwithstanding those powers of elocution that so captivated Elizabeth, and won Essex, his pronunciation-if we are to rely on Aubery-ever continued to betray the accent of his native province. I have,' says this writer, heard old Sir Thomas Mallet, who knew Sir Walter, say, that ' he spoke broad Devonshire to his dying day.'
From the imputation of impiety with which Raleigh was so unjustly aspersed, his character was relieved by the publication of his History of the World.' Originating, apparently, in his freely expressed opinions respecting some doctrines of the schools, t it owed its dissemination to a libellous attack on the chief courtiers of Queen Elizabeth, written by Father Parsons, the noted Jesuit. He does not appear to have ever made any direct reply to the charge; but those of his friends with whom he was in the habit of conversing upon such subjects, knew that it was unfounded; and the publication of his great work made his opinions advantageously known to all the world. But, with respect to his moral character, we can find little that is favourable in the sentiments of his contemporaries. Though unquestionably possessed of friendly dispositions, kindly affections, and much tenderness of heart; and though all his opinions and feelings, as expressed in his writings, were strongly on virtue's side,' he never was considered as a man whose conduct was steadily regulated by either truth or probity. Even where his aims appeared great and worthy, they were believed to be contaminated by the admixture of an impure and grasping ambition. Though always 'gazed at as a star,' the feelings with which his path was viewed were far from those of love, confidence, or reverence.
*Gorges's Relation of the Island Voyage, in Purchas.
† Osborne's Miscellany of Essays and Paradoxes.
The words of the Attorney-General, Yelverton, at the mock judicial process employed to give a colour of legality to the order for executing the old sentence.
VOL. LXXI. NO, CXLIII.
But the grand and devout demeanour displayed at his execution, made men unwilling to dwell upon his faults, and threw all unpleasing recollections into the shade. Had James been a worthy and magnanimous, instead of a mean and pusillanimous Prince, the name of Raleigh, though it would have, no doubt, been recorded alongst with the other conspicuous characters of his time, would not have descended to us with that halo of literary and martyr-like glory which surrounds it, and will, in all probability, accompany it to a far more distant posterity.
ART. II.The Art of Deer-Stalking; illustrated by a Narrative of a Few Days' Sport in the Forest of Atholl. By WILLIAM SCROPE, Esq., F.L.S., and Member of the Academy of San' Luca, Rome. 8vo. London: 1838.
A MONG the masculine sports which exercise our ingenuity and call forth our physical energies, there are none so exciting and so highly prized as the pleasures and toils of the chase. In wielding our delegated power over the animal creation, we derive but a transient enjoyment from the subjugation of the domestic races which administer to our ordinary wants. It is only the beast of prey whose lair is in the thicket, or the fleet quadruped whose dwelling-place is on the mountains, that summon us into the field, and develop all the resources of our sanguinary skill. To brave the malaria of the Indian jungle, and to partake in the fierce encounter between the tiger and his pursuer, is a species of transcendental sport in which human skill and courage are pitted against animal strength and ferocity. The mutual danger, too, which impends over the sportsman and his prey, gives a deeper interest to the struggle, where brute capacity often triumphs, and in which the intellectual combatant is sometimes the victim.
This species of amusement, so highly esteemed by the European in other quarters of the globe, is, we think, inferior in all respects to that which is to be found in the deer-forests of our native hills. The excitement of a tiger-hunt is doubtless more intense, its pageantry more imposing, and its casualties more hazardous; but the sources of interest which the deer-chase presents to a cultivated mind, are more numerous, more rational, and more allied to our better nature, in proportion as they are of a less cruel and sanguinary character.
The Indian and the African forests open their recesses to the free passage of the sportsman as well as the naturalist. No lord of the manor claims a right to its ferocious denizens-no
action at law lies for trespass-and no Chancellor of the Exchequer stands at the receipt of custom. The right of pursuit and slaughter belongs to all; and he who exercises it most frequently and most valiantly, is the best benefactor of the neighbourhood. The privilege of deer-stalking, on the contrary, is as rare as it is valuable. The small number of our deer-forests, and their possession by the landed aristocracy, renders them almost inaccessible even to the most opulent; and the few which the key of gold does contrive to unlock, can be maintained only by a great outlay of capital. The absolute exclusion of sheep and cattle from the haunts of the deer, over an extent of thousands of acres -the enormous expense of residence in sequestered districts, and the necessity of numerous keepers to guard the sanctuary of the chase-render the occupancy of a deer-forest one of the choicest and most expensive of our amusements.
But rare and popular as this sport unquestionably is, it is not from this cause alone that it derives its prominent interest. The pleasure which it yields is not less intense, nor the skill which it demands less scientific, than the magnificent sports of the Tropics. In all its phases of excitement, from the 'break of morn' to the knell of parting day,' Reason is continually marshalling its powers against the extempore and unerring decisions of instinct; and in this noble rivalry of intellectual and physical sagacity, the race, as in other secular pursuits, is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The dexterity of the rifleman is balanced by the fleetness of his prey; the sagacity and the power of the stag-hound is matched by the muscular energy and the indomitable courage of his antlered antagonist; and the quick vision and the acute perception of smell which the stag inherits, often baffle the manoeuvres of the hunter, and mock the powers of his telescope.
In the intervals of rest, too, as well as in the active pursuit and the final conflict, the deer-chase presents many points of interest and superiority. No fetid exhalations nor putrid effluvia pollute the pure ether which the huntsman breathes. No dread of retaliation disturbs his rest, or paralyses the ardour of pursuit. His mind is free to roam over the beautiful and wide expanse of earth and sky. The blue vault which crowns him, and the granite pavement on which he treads, are equally objects of his admiration. The lofty peak, with its fretted yet crystalline flanks -the overhanging precipice, with its caverns, its rills, and its foliage the sudden rush of the concealed cataract-the ghastly pine, dead and naked, yet in the form and attitude of life-the brown moss, displaying the wreck of ancient forests, and furnishing a unit of measure to sound the depths of primeval time
the mountain lake, now blue with the azure which it embosoms, now green with the purity of its waters, now bright with the ruffled reflection of the clouds, now in ebullition with the thunder-shower-these are the objects which meet the hunter's eye, and from which the geologist, the moralist, and the painter may draw the richest instruction. Amid this contemplation of Nature's grandeur, the serenity of the moment is agreeably disturbed by the forms of life and beauty which break upon the view. The solitary stag appears in stately attitude on the brow of the precipice, or bounds over the plain, or springs across the mossy hag, or clears the span of the mountain torrent; or, perhaps, a noble herd become visible in the distance, now breaking the sky line with their twisted antlers, now basking on Bendouran's steep,' and now holding their council of instinct, when their startled senses indicate the approach of man.
From out yon ancient pine-wood's shade,
Each stately hart, each slender hind,
The spring-born offspring of their loves-
Dappled like the rosy dawn,
And sportive in its fear.'
Such of our readers as have not partaken of the pleasures of the chase, will naturally wish to know something of the details of a sport so highly prized, and so difficult to command. Although the press teems with descriptions of Oriental sports, yet no account has been given of the manners and habits of the aboriginal red deer of the Highlands of the nature and extent of the forests which they inhabit-or of the arts by which they fall under our dominion. It is only of late, indeed, that this amusement has been systematically pursued; and of the small number of individuals who have been initiated into its mysteries, but few are qualified to become its historians.
Mr Scrope, the author of the work placed at the head of this article, possesses, we believe, in a higher degree than any other person, all the qualities which are necessary for such a task. His fine taste, his classical acquirements, his vein of chastened humour, his exquisite skill as an amateur painter, his knowledge of character, and above all, his enthusiasm for the chase, and his ten years' experience of its details on the grandest scale, fit him in an eminent degree for describing the statistics of our deer-forests, the natural history of its antlered occupants, the system of rifle