Imagens das páginas
[ocr errors][merged small]

qualified them for enjoying. "As Canada increases in wealth, not only will there be a greater demand for English manufactures, but a still greater trade will be carried on with other countries; thereby giving employment to a greater number of English ships. As Canada grows in riches, it will be enabled to defray the expenses of its own government, which at present falls so heavily upon the people of Great Britain. Neither is there reason to imagine that Canada, if allowed to attain such a state of prosperity, would be ready to disunite herself from our country, so long as she is governed with justice, mildness, and wisdom; for she need but turn towards the United States to be convinced that the great mass of her people are in possession of as much happiness and real liberty as those of the neighbouring country."

The above are the sentiments of one who knows well the subject which he so admirably discusses; and it must be evident to all who have studied the circumstances and resources of this highly favoured colony.

In conclusion,

"Canada! with all thy faults, I love thee still."

Nor can I part with the inhabitants of the New World without one farewell benediction. In the United States, where I passed many happy days, I saw in the mass of Americans liberal and inquiring minds-men possessing that independence of spirit which is their birthright. If occasionally I saw an exception to the rule, as in the case of Mr. Jefferson Drakelaw the Yankee dealer, I was not illiberal enough to draw general conclusions from isolated premises, or to censure a whole nation for the faults of a few; and most fervently do I trust that no circumstance will ever arise to disturb the harmony which now happily exists between the free-born sons of America and England.



"Who-whoop!" sings out the traveller on the roof, in a clear, musical tone, that tells plainly enough it is no "curious coincidence that has brought him now for the first time, in at the death of the fox.

A man who wanted a theme, might manage to manufacture a very readable essay out of hunting halloos. He might begin by laying down the law, as to when people should holloa, and when they should be quiet; for which, no doubt, a committee of masters of hounds would be called to pass him a unanimous vote of thanks. He might from this proceed to draw out an Act of Parliament, for the infliction of divers penalties and punishments upon those who make a riot without due occasion for it. In framing this, he would, of course, have an eye to the foot-people

out, and all "the lads of the village," that the sight of a fox now sends raving mad with excitement-to be relieved only by a never-ceasing succession of the most unearthly noises, it is possible-or rather that it is impossible-to imagine.

There are few of us but have some experience of these sweet sounds. Bold reynard, in his hurry, threads the line of a village, and at last gets inexplicably entangled in out-houses and back-yard accommodation. It is evident he has lost his headpiece, and it looks more than likely that nothing can save him. There is, though, something. Not a man, nor a boy, or even a woman, we might say, but gives him a cheer in passingand such a cheer, too! Of all the fearful things one has to endure, perhaps this oi polloi attempt at a holloa is the most trying. It is hard to decide which has the worst of it, uproarious Bunchclod, who gets every hound's head up, and makes them as wild and unmanageable as himself, under the idea, of course, that he is rendering the most valuable aid. This nature's child, or the knowing cockney, who salutes "Mr. Redcoat" on his return up Oxford-street, after a turn with the Queen's. The " "Yoicks! "Tally-hoes!" "Forards," and so on, agreeably varied from the roaring bass of the countryman, to the treble squeak of the sympathising Londoner. It always reminds us of the master of hounds, who, while one of his whips sat wondering at one of these signals, said, good naturedly, "Will, I think you had better get round to the other side of the cover; I am afraid there must be somebody badly hurt."


Who-whoop!" however repeats our traveller on the mail, in a far more professional note; and there is but little doubt but he will be down, and give the worry over poor foxey himself, should none of those more directly engaged in the business of the day pretty quickly turn up. Alas! we never get such meetings as these now. No chance now for a passenger to refresh his eyes with the horses going on, or even the pack, perhaps, if he is fortunate enough, jogging along at their own very peculiar pace for " Holtby Toll-bar." The rail is a blessed invention, there is no denying, and many a man so get's a day's hunting that otherwise would be too often without one; but still it has not the jolly, cheery way of going, that so pleasantly characterised the old "road." The cheerful bit of chat with those you caught up-the increasing anxiety to ascertain if the hounds were on? Farmer Smith's opinion as to present prices, and what is to become of him; the just bird's-eye view of those three graces-the Miss Whites-who are all sure to be either out in the front of the house or lining the breakfastroom window on a "hunting morning." Don't tell us you can save so much time the other way, and be back to business so much sooner. What is business to you or me, pray, or that cloud-impelling young swell at the other corner, in the purple fly-away tie and jack-boots, who has evinced his respect for the company's bye-laws by smoking incessantly from the moment we started? It is very convenient, no doubt, to read your paper as you go, and very fine to flash your scarlet in the refreshment-room; but for all that, as far as a sportsman's tastes and habits are concerned, times, as the facetious Mr. Wright expresses it, "ain't as they used to was."

"The Chase and the Road," how naturally, even yet, they sound together, and how immediately we come to associate them with his name,

who did so much for both of them! Poor Nimrod! how much we owe him, and what a curious way we have now got into of giving him our thanks! There is another thesis for the essayist, if you please. We have often thought there could scarcely have been a more agreeable surprise than these "Turf, the Chase, and the Road" papers must have occasioned on their first appearance. For the country gentleman, we will say, no great glutton at study, perhaps, but who as a Church and King man, always took "The Quarterly" as a matter of principle. We will picture him after a hard day in his own covers, just cutting into the new number, with the resigned expression of one expecting nothing more lively than usual. The Reform question and its progress-an elaborate digest of the different claims to the authorship of Junius's letters-our colonies and their conduct; and so forth. Picture him, we say, blessed as one who won't be disappointed, for he expecteth little tribute to his own peculiar fancies-Picture him catching his breath, as he dives, may be, into the middle of the run. "Tally-ho!" cries a clod in a tree," and Val Malher, John White, and glorious Mr. Snob all hustling to the front. We-or let it be I-can picture the squire going through it without a check, forgetting his glass of port, and finishing the article with a half-sigh that there is not more still. A famous notion, right famously carried out, and one that we really believe did more for the fame of "The Quarterly Review," than all the learned treatises that ever were penned. How light and corkey it floats above them all!

the more considerately paid, longer amongst us. And lo! "Nimrod was a humbug," says

Our thanks be to Nimrod for it: perhaps, when we reflect that he is no this is the fashion we pay them in. one polished gentleman. "He couldn't ride so well as I can ; though, perhaps, he could write better," says another modest one. "He wrote some nonsense, I am told, in his time," chimes in Mr. Snobbe, who never wrote anything else. "He told and sold his best stories two or three times over," sneers a funny man, who is cribbing and telling and selling them as his own still. "He should not have shown up the private life of poor Mytton," mourns a delicateminded critic, who straightway prints and publishes a letter from MrMytton's mother or wife, that had no possible interest to any one, ex-. cept that it was a strictly private one! "He had a great deal of assistance at times," writes an impartial biographer with a good deal the spirit, if not all the knowledge, of a discharged valet. "The italics here were, I believe, originally not his own; and his directions for summering the hunter were confessedly taken from the practice of several crack stables." He quoted Latin and Greek; and was a scholar and a gentleman," blurts out Mr. Plainway, who isn't, fortunately, a scholar or a gentleman, and don't quote Latin and Greek, because he can't. "He dealt in horses, or, at least, used to always sell his hunters when he could get good prices for them," growls indignant Mr. Coper, who has himself broke down at the business. wasn't over rich, and he had to live in France ;" and he wrote "The Hunting Tours," "The Condition of Hunters," "The Chase, the Turf, and the Road ;" and was a sportsman and a gentleman, and the pleasantest writer, and one of the best companions that ever loved horse and hound.


"He could'nt ride," says Mr. Bruiser. But he could ride, and often

went well, and made horses for other and luckier men to ride. More than this, he was at one period in regular work as a gentleman jockey, put on other people's horses for hunters' stakes, and so on-a tolerably good proof of his having some ability as a horseman. How is it, or who is then is to make out Nimrod's weak point in this respect? Let us see. Here was a middle-aged gentlemen put on a strange horse in a strange country, neither of which he most likely ever saw before, expected to have his eyes about him, especially to note what other people did-and, above all-to lead the field, and set everybody out! And so because, forsooth, he did'nt do all this-but merely kept his place, and told a run in the best way it has been told, "he could'nt ride." Let me put you, Mr. Bruiser, even at your age, in his place, on the strange horse and in the strange country, and it strikes me, that unless you are a good deal better man than I take you for, poor Nimrod, bad hand as you make him out, would have had by long odds the best of it. "Nimrod was a humbug:" no doubt he was, to gentlemen of such happily constituted dispositions as to associate nothing with hounds and hunting beyond gross caricature, without it be, perhaps, picking and stealing and all uncharitableness. Or, a humbug in the eyes of another, who may be himself a pretty good hand at the sweet-oil and soft-soap, so long as it can be applied to his own peculiar "set." O you sportsmen! who are sportsmen, take a hint that is not unkindly meant, and don't libel the memory of one who would never have libelled you. While as to you, Messrs. Sneer and Snarl, what does all you have got to say amount to, but simply this-that when he chose, Nimrod could hit hard enough? and here you are writhing, and raving, and spitting out your venom still. He must have laid the double thong pretty sharply on, to make you remember it so keenly!

But, by Jove! what are we doing! It is all right, sir- simply an act of justice to him who did so much for "the Chase" and "the Road."



[ocr errors]

The Month of December: Christmas Festivities: The New Year: The Chase:
Influence of the Atmosphere: Opening-day with the South Down Foxhounds:
A Word for the Farmers: Effects of bad scenting Weather: A Run on a good
scenting Lay: A Run on a bad scenting Day.

There is a charming idiosyncracy engrafted on minds of happy temperament, invoking them to a sympathy with the season which is at hand, by which we forget, in some respects, the disagreeable passages of the past; hence we reap the advantages of not being chilled by the dreary aspects of a wintry landscape, from a comparison with the enchanting beauties of the spring; and, again, when spring arrives, with those grateful scenes of freshness and beauty which charm us with novelty, we greet them with joy as they present themselves. December, with its short and

« AnteriorContinuar »