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appear. Through various marriages, the property eventually came into possession of the Harleys, Earls of Oxford, and now belongs to that family, together with other large estates in the neighbourhood, the principal of which is Brampton Brian castle, derived from Sir Edward Harley, and named after the original owners of the place, whose christian names were generally Bryan, or Brian, situate a few miles distant from Wigmore castle and the village of Leintwardine, and until lately Brampton Brian castle was the chief residence of the Oxford family, comprising a fixe domain and deer park, with beautiful woodland scenery around it, and situated upon a most commanding height, looking down on the rich vale below, along which flows the river Teme, there being two rivers of that name, the little and the larger Teme; but the former of which, owing to the excessive drought we found in many places, had entirely disappeared for a considerable distance, leaving only pools of water here and there, totally unconnected with each other. This castle and place are allowed now to fall into bad condition, the deer are destroyed, or nearly so, and a bailiff is the only resident in this fine castle. Not far from the castle of Wigmore, is the site of Wigmore Abbey, very little of which is now to be seen, the destructive hand of the builder having incorporated or pulled down most of the old monastery, to form a farm-house and buildings therewith. This monastery was included with other of the larger monasteries, and suppressed in 1538 by Henry the Eighth, of all-destroying memory, he having tried his power upon the smaller class of monasteries in the first instance; but, during its existence, it shared the protecting influence of the warlike lords of the neighbouring castle, against the invasions of the Welsh and other borderers; the abbot and holy brotherhood, in return, no doubt attending to the lord's and his retainers' spiritual welfare. The fine meadow grounds adjacent to the abbey were called Wigmore lands, well adapted for their beeves and other cattle to fatten in; and the neighbouring river, the larger Teme, amply supplying them in those days with salmon and other fish-though salmon cease now to frequent the river, being prevented coming up so far by the weirs on the Severn, into which river the Teme falls. With deer in the forest, salmon in the river, and beeves in the pasture lands, these holy fathers may be supposed to have had little else to think of but spiritual matters. Brandon and several Roman encampments, and other remarkable places, are also to be seen in the immediate neighbourbood, and the ancient Roman way, or Watling-street Road, as it is termed, crosses near the village and underneath the castle of Wigmore indeed the whole of this part of the country presents constant sources of attraction to the antiquarian, the naturalist, and traveller; and the beauty of the surrounding hills clothed with wood, the deep rich valleys, and fine old ruins, altogether form a prospect not easily to be surpassed, affording to a contemplative mind almost endless subject for reflection and amusement. Amongst other customs still kept up in this country, is that of placing flowers on the new-made graves of deceased friends. Wandering amid these secluded scenes, or seated beneath the ivy-covered walls of the old castles, where the mind is involuntarily led back to the past, and memory again brings to life that dear and never-to-be-forgotten object which was once the guiding star of all our earthly hopes, though now no more, may we not fancy, while casting beside us the fresh-plucked harebell or lowly violet, that these humble flowers are lightly falling from our hand upon

the grave of her we loved so well, the emblems of her innocence, and the answering solace to her hovering spirit's prayer

"Wilt thou (-) shed a gracious tear

On the cold grave, where all my sorrows rest!
Strew vernal flowers, applaud my love sincere,
And bid the turf lie easy on my breast"?

Although a true fisherman, inspired with the quietude and beauty of the scenery around him, is never lost to the sentiment it engenders, he must not, even in a favoured spot like this, indulge too much in these day-dreams of the past, though they may afford him a melancholy enjoyment more pure and fervent than all the realities of active life can ever again produce.

At the conclusion of our journey, we were received most kindly by the landlord and his wife, formerly servants in a gentleman's family, and finding ourselves the first of the club-members who had arrived, we were entitled to choose our rooms; and accordingly, instead of entering upon the large club-room which the members are accustomed to use in common, we selected a small parlour upon the ground floor, with a separate entrance, opening into a little garden in which was a grass plot, close to the river side, enabling us to walk out without the trouble of going through the house; or, while sitting within our little chamber, uninterruptedly to see the distant hills and picturesque country around us; and a more comfortable and handy place for fishermen to retire to could not be, the room being furnished with a sofa, easy chairs, and just long enough to admit of our rods being hung up, ready for the next day's use, on hooks placed beneath the ceiling, within reach to receive them. In front of the door, on the little grass plot, was a large yew tree, whose lower boughs age had deprived of leaves; and between the branches the fishing boots, baskets, and other apparatus, were put to dry, and gave an additional feature of rural simplicity to this pretty retired place. A table was laid out ready for dinner, and everything was tidy and neat as fishermen could wish. After dinner, the head-keeper made his appearance and informed us, of what indeed we were previously aware, that the river was exceedingly low, and to an extent scarcely ever known before-very unfavourable for our sport; but that the Mayfly was just appearing on the water, and although several members of the club had been trying their skill, they had met with but little success. Having looked over our tackle, selected the most likely flies for the next day, and talked of past and future scenes of similar enjoyment, we took a short evening walk, and retired rather early to bed, with anxious feelings of expectation for the next day's sport. We found the following morning, as we did nearly every one during our stay, very cold, and beset with a keen north-east wind, a bright sun breaking forth occasionally in the middle of the day but a good fisherman should, it is said, be able to make the fish bite, let the weather be however discouraging it may. The first morning we obtained a gig, and got our landlord to drive us to Beaubridge, the farthest end of our water, intending to fish the river homewards, should we not find enough to do in the first two or three meadows from our commencement. The river is so much overhung with bushes and trees in many places, and requires to be crossed so often, that very little good can be done except at particular parts, and very much of the fishing must otherwise be lost, unless

the fisherman is prepared for wading; accordingly my friend started from our little inn equipped in wading boots of most formidable dimensions, which took him in nearly to the waist and gave him a great advantage. The first day, I declined my friend's kind offer of his waterproof stockings, as he termed them, huge Indian-rubber kind of boots, which came nearly up to the hips, with no soles, and over the feet of which, to prevent being cut by the stones and shingles, it was necessary to wear strong short boots, with woollen socks between them and the Indianrubber stockings; so that what with the clumsy appearance of the boots, and the socks hanging over them, and the other apparatus, it gave one the appearance of a person whose lower limbs were swathed up and suffering from a severe fit of illness; and after a time, as the boots would not keep their shape when wet, but the points turned inwards, something like the hoofs of an aged goat, one's lower extremities formed no unlike representation of those satyrs one is accustomed to see in old pictures, half-animal and half-man; nevertheless I found these habiliments when I did take to them, of the greatest use and comfort, though a slight flaw somewhere showed they were not, as they professed to be, entirely waterproof.

To see my friend and myself rolling about in the shallows, and while crossing over the river, nearly hip deep, and the water just reaching to the tops of our boots, and sometimes a trifle over, was high delight to two boys who attended us to carry our luncheon and spare things. These two lads were particularly active and civil, and had, like all the other boys in the village, a natural turn for fishing, and a pretty good knowledge of the most likely spots and the best flies to use, and when luncheon time arrived, their sport was fully equal to ours, as our careful landlady had not forgotten to put up bread and cheese and a bottle of beer for the two "helps," and at that work well did they deserve their name, and glad were we to see them so handy at their avocation. Sitting down on the grass, beneath the shade of the overhanging trees, having now tried various kinds of flies, and finding the coldness of the weather interfered very much with our sport, as the fish were very far from being eager, we refreshed ourselves, counted over our fish, and consulted as to the most likely and tempting flies for the evening part of our stay by the river-side, though we did not forget we should have some six or seven miles to walk home to an eight-o'clock dinner. Our sport had hitherto been but indifferent to what we expected; though more beautiful scenery could not be conceived, nor a river better adapted for the preservation of fish, of which it appeared to be full, and though the Mayfly was out pretty fully, the fish were not yet inclined to take it with any freedom; and the lowness of the water was greatly against us. We found, however, upon leaving the river to gain the road homewards, we had killed thirteen brace of nice trout, all above the club size for keeping, though but few of them reached a pound in weight; all the smaller ones were turned in again in accordance with the rules of the club-my friend being much more fortunate than myself, which I attributed to his being enabled to wade, which I was not the first day. I would recommend fishermen, when they find the fish shy and not disposed to be caught, not to change their fly too often, and thus lose time and trouble, but to continue with the fly then on, and that which is about to come on

the water: the fish will take one or other of these, or decline all invitation.

Our way home was somewhat wearisome, but when we had arrived there, we found everything ready for our reception, and a most comfortable fire burning cheerfully in our little parlour: the boys took off our wet things, put our fish in a dish, some to be dressed for dinnerthough they are never so good as on the second day, if kept in the cool-placed our baskets and rods in their right situations, and left us to enjoy our well-earned dinner; after which, and sufficiently resting ourselves, we took an easy stroll, talked to the keepers, looked at the river, mended our damaged tackle for the next day, and went to bed, well tired and well amused with this our first day's sport; though I cannot but mention the difficulty we constantly met with, owing to the water being so low, and the overhanging trees and bushes, screening the river as it were, so that it was only in particular places we could get to throw at all; and often, as it would be termed in racing language, we came to grief, by our flies fastening in boughs, with no means of getting them undone; but I found that most useful invention the Fisherman's Friend of the greatest service-to be obtained of Mr. Hills, No. 4, Haymarket-consisting of a small hook or circular knife, which fixes loosely on the point of the rod, with a stout string attached, and when lifted up by the rod, the hook is placed over the bough, and the rod pulled back, leaving the hook hanging round the twig to which the fly is fast; then with a sharp jerk of the string, the bough is cut through, and down it and the fly come together: my friend not having one of these with him, more than once kindly invited me to creep along slender boughs, on which he had got his tackle hung, just so far as to get his flies off for him, as they overhung a part of the river where he could not reach them, and the water underneath was some twenty feet deep; but, not being quite so active or light as a squirrel, I declined the attempt, to the great regret of his lad, whose business it was to do those kind of jobs when practicable. I had myself become fast several times during the day, but with my Fisherman's Friend generally contrived to get undone without loss or the aid of my boy " David the little," who had a sharp eye for most things. On one occasion, little David came very cautiously down the bank of the river to the shallow below, where I stood, and creeping quietly towards me, said "Sir, please there is a big one under yonder bush;" thinking it was a large trout, I looked in vain towards the place he pointed out on the opposite side of the river, till suddenly he cried out "There it goes, sir!" whereupon I found the object of David's excitement was an old buck rabbit, that had been quietly sitting near the river side in its form, and having caught David's attention, he was very anxious that I should try to catch it with my fly, and bring it across to our side of the water to be basketed with the fish, but this was beyond my art; though I recollect some years ago, when a friend was staying with me in the country, and then learning the art of fly-fishing, of which he afterwards became a perfect master, having hooked various bushes and trees and disturbed the economy of many thistles and other plants overhanging the narrow brook we were fishing in, but which, narrow as it was, held some goodly sized trout, I saw a water-rat crossing the stream below, and I begged my friend

to throw steady and try his hand at the rat, as he had been unfortunate in striking any of the fish that had risen at his fly, when taking a cast, sure enough he hooked the rat through the back and brought it to land, where the keeper's son, who was in attendance, took up the rat to unhook it, but the lad dropped it like a hot potato, as the rat gave him a sharpish bite and was off in a moment, thinking, no doubt, a most unsportsmanlike advantage had been taken of him. Strange to say, my friend almost immediately afterwards became an excellent thrower of a fly, leaving the thistles and boughs alone, and taking to catch fish in real earnest; and so accurately does he now throw his fly, that I believe, were a rat to make his appearance on the water, he would certainly hook it, for he tells me he has often caught them since, and adds, if you pull the rat pretty sharply after being hooked, he has no time to bite your line through, and you have him; a hint I venture to mention for the benefit of other fishermen, who perhaps like myself may not be aware of such being the fact.

The next morning, if not up with the lark, we were up pretty early, and enjoyed the fresh morning air, though it was accompanied with a rather cold easterly wind. We found our table laid out ready for breakfast, neat and clean as before: fried fish, coffee, tea, eggs, and other good things awaiting us, and a very pretty and attentive maid to attend upon us. After examining the state of the river, still unequally low, and talking to the head keeper as to the best place to begin our day's operations at, and what other members of the club had arrived and were likely to be out, we fell to our breakfast with good fishermen's appetites. Our two boys, Arthur and David, soon made their appearance, holding in remembrance, no doubt, the luncheon of the preceding day; and having got our tackle in order, these young valets brought us our fishing boots and stockings, and helped us to put them on, and in a pair of which, with rough woollen socks, I this day determined to try my fortune; and when fully accoutred, Dirk Hatteraick himself might have envied my appearance: with basket and landing-net slung behind, a wide-awake hat (the fashionable wear here) and a short-tailed shooting jacket, the upper man bore a respectable appearance; but as to the nether portion, that indeed was a sight to see; but my friend turned out in a much more fishermanlike and genteel form. We this day determined to walk instead of drive, and to begin much nearer home, fishing down stream instead of upwards, calculating, as the weather was so cold, we should find the fly most out about two o'clock, and lower down the river; accordingly we carried our rods ready, and commenced fishing a little below the bridge called the Black-bridge, it being a new one, built of white stone. But we met with no encouragement at first; there was little fly as yet out, and few or no rises from fish were to be seen, and we gave up for a time. Numbers of the pretty little summer snipes or sandpipers were to be met with, and heard, on the shingly shores and along the banks of the river, where they had formed their nests: scarcely a turn of the river or a little lake left by former floods, but a pair of these beautifully marked birds were to be seen, and in one place we found a young one, but unfortunately dead, apparently but a few days old. Marks of otters appeared in many places, and with which these wild regions, like the name of the river, team, as the keepers

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