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naturally associates with the existence of fairies, genii, and demons. They are accused of unnatural cruelties, and a carnivorous ferocity which knows no bounds. The poor animals are even said to have such a desire for human flesh as to violate the very sanctity of the tomb, and to devour the dead with extatic apetite. These notions I have found in several districts of the highlands of Scotland ; and the same thing was expressed by the inhabitants of the Pas-de-Calais. That these are great delusions is unquestionable ; for the animal is of a remarkably inoffensive and mild disposition ; and all its habits are really such as to make it, were they well understood, rather an interesting member of the great family of the mammalia. But it may just be added to these remarks, that there was something in the very locality I was about to visit, in the vicinity of St. Omer, which mightily strengthened the superstitious fears of the inhabitants relative to the presence of the badgers. Their subterranean dwellings were on the very spot where a religious establishment had for centuries stood, but which was entirely demolished, amid, it was alleged, great cruelty and suffering during the fearful ravages of the first revolution.
Well, the first Thursday of October dawned a splendid morning. There was a full attendance at the Café Royal at half-past seven. There were three carriages and four riding-horses, and the company amounted to twelve persons. The Messrs. Covie held a conspicuous station in the sporting corps ; they were equipped in the first-rate hunting style, with English-fashioned jockey-caps, and each a French hunting-bugle hung from his side. Charles de Foullard attracted general attention from his new and fashionable attire, just executed a few hours before from that inimitable purveyor of French provincial davdyism, situated in the Rue de Six Fontaines. In addition to De Foullard's exquisite habiliments, he sported on the occasion a pair of long military spurs about four inches in length. The whole party were invited to take breakfast at a farm-house within about a mile where the badgers were burrowed, and to this hospitable spot we all set off down the Porte de Dunkerque, full of life, and joy, and roistering revelry, alarming the inhabitants all the way as we passed through that singular and unique appendage to the town, called the Haut Pont, by the incessant blowing of our two splendid new hunting. bugles.
We arrived at our breakfast station in less than an hour after we left the Café, and met with the kindest and most hospitable attention. Everything was in apple-pie order for hungry sportsmen. We had a first-rate French breakfast. Côtelettes de mouton, côtelettes de veau, and stewed pigeons, were first served up, with a plentiful supply of light wine and excellent champagne. Then we had a rich supply of grapes, apples, and pears, splendid café au lait, and made a finish with some of the choicest liqueurs I had ever before tasted. Everything was conducted with the life and spirit befitting a sporting party.
As I sauntered among the outskirts of the farm-house, I perceived that it was partly the remains of a monastic institution, and that the garden attached to it was in a great measure surrounded with an ancient and dilapidated wall, which had doubtless formed the original boundary of the establishment. How full of thought is a place of this kind! It is impossible to prevent the mind from rushing back upon what are now called the dark ages, and from contrasting the then state of society with
the present. Reflection presses in on the mind at every avenue. Here was an institution established for ages, which engrossed all the learning and literature of a whole province, and which was considered by its members as being as firmly established, against all the possible contingencies of human vicissitudes, as the primitive rocks of the globe itself. But how changed the aspect! what a palpable and striking manifestation of human frailty and short-sightedness, and of our total inability of penetrating into the future! Instead of a few mon set apart, in such a sequestered spot, to study the recondite speculations of Isidore, of Seville, of Rabanus Maurus, and Thomas Aquinas, we have learned establishments in every town and village ; and this too without the drawback of anything essential to the real happiness and comfort of social life.
Whilst such reflections were running through my mind, the Messrs. Covie sounded the bugles, and all in the farm-house was activity and bustle. Two countrymen belonging to the place were to proceed with us, to point out the exact spot where the badger's habitation was situated; for it was owing to the repeated watchings and observations, during several successive nights, that the knowledge of the existence of these animals in the neighbourhood was obtained. The carriages and horses were left at our host's house, and we all set out on foot, armed with some spades, a portion of straw, and our three terrier dogs. These were strong and courageous little animals ; but I strongly suspected, from the first sight of them, that they would be entirely inadequate to dislodge a full-grown badger from a comfortable and well formed burrow. The sequel will show that I was not mistaken in this opinion.
We ascended to a rather high ground, about a niile and a half from the house at which we had breakfasted. We posted up a narrow ravine, in rather a rich tract of land, with a good deal of brushwood and some fine swelling knolls, along the sweeping banks of a little meandering rivulet, which poured its limpid waters into the great estuary of the marais of St. Omer. This is just the sort of country for the badger ; he likes to be snug, and warm, and cozy-has an instinctive abhorence of either extreme heat or cold, and leads what we may term a happy, even, and temperate life. He cannot be designated an animal of the forest, nor of the sandy or arid plane ; but he chooses a little of both, and selects out the place of his abode, with an especial reference to all the habits and wants and appliances of his nature. There must be a little wildness and solitude to gratify his love of retirement and seclusion; there must be dryness to protect him from the evils of a humid atmosphere; and there must be that peculiar assemblance of physical qualities in his precise locality, which furnishes, at the least possible expense of labour, and in the greatest quantity, a full supply of that which will adequately sustain his existence. Its principal food is unquestionably roots and fruits, with a portion of insects, and perhaps the lizard and the frog. In no badger burrow which I have seen did I ever discover the slightest vestige of animal remains.
Having now come to the active spot where the object of our eager sport was secluded, we commenced immediate operations. The entrance to the burrow was exceedingly well placed for deception ; but we had soon the certain confirmation that we were not mistaken, and had not come so far upon a needless errand. The first dog we sent into the burrow felt rather shy, but soon gained a little more courage, and obvious indications that there was a formidable inhabitant within. After a good many vigorous efforts to seize hold of his prey, and draw him out of his nest, our little sturdy terrier, gave a tremendous yell, and came out with a fearful laceration of his under-lip, which completely took all the courage out of him ; for by no art or coaxing we could use would he once more face the entrance into the burrow. We had recourse to another assailant ; but here we were sadly disappointed, for he would not enter the aperture on any terms whatever he shrank back with a tremulous and instinctive horror. Our third and last dog was put in requisition, and he went valiantly to work, and sustained a sharp conflict of more than half an hour's duration. But he too got completely disabled his ear was rent from its highest and thickest part to its termination, and the poor animal came out streaming with blood, but not altogether disheartened. The excitement among the French sportsmen was now excessive ; an immediate exhumation of the burrow was proposed, but the English suggested that this was hardly fair game, and that another vigorous assault should be instituted either now or at some future day.
While this animated debate was going on, to the astonishment of all, out bounced a badger-spades, sticks, horns, everything in fact which the hand could make available, was thrown at him; but to our extreme mortification, after a rapid succession of cries of " Here he is ;” “Here he is ;" the animal ultimately made his escape among a thick clump of impenetrable brushwood, in which many stones were scattered in every direction. We all felt the disappointment; and it was soon after resolved that as there might possibly be another, or some young cubs in the burrow, we should now smoke it, and afterwards proceed to examine it with the axes and spades.
We noticed that as the animal darted through amongst us, the three dogs were quite agitated with fear. The severe punishment two of them had received had left a deep impression of the resisting capabilities of their assailant. It need scarcely be remarked that the badger's faculties of resistance are all of a defensive order. He is capable of inflicting a sharp and severe wound, and is susceptible of the most indomitable passive antagonism. His skin has the rare quality of being scarcely penetrable by the teeth of any dog, for it is with difficulty that it can be split or torn; and when dogs are not sufficiently trained to the hunting of the animal, it is impossible for them to make any head against him. His scent-bag is also another great protection to him, which emits a strong and offensive effluvium when he is roused to anger. From these and other causes, he lives very much at peace with other animals, and enjoys a sort of independent and secluded existence.
Having now determined to smoke the burrow, we applied our straw, with some brimstone, and another ingredient which the Messrs. Covie mixed with it, but the name of which I do not know. After this operation was effected to the extent supposed to be required, we set to work with our spades and axes, and soon effected an entrance. We had not proceeded far in the process of excavation, when we perceived that it was a large and regularly formed habitation; and what surprised and delighted us still more was, that we found two of the largest and most beautiful badgers we had ever beheld lying quite dead at the far end of the bur. row. How delighted the Frenchmen were! They seized hold of them,
fondled them like children, and seemed to consider their day's sport crowned with the most glorious and signal success. The one measured three feet six inches from the tip of the tail to the snout, and the other three feet four. Their respective skins were the most perfect and beautiful things of the kind I had ever seen. The fur was of a creamy whiteness, with long shining black hairs on the top. It was glossy, close, and thick. The habitation of the animals was just such as you might be led to conceive the habits and wants of such a creature would suggest. It was embedded throughout with a considerable quantity of fine soft grass, placed in the best position for passive tranquillity and comfort. Every thing about the burrow impressed you with that general truth, which is proclaimed by thousands of voices from all parts of nature's wide and diversified domain, that the instinctive powers of ani. mal life have all a wise and special direction to the preservation and comfort of the respective species of which it is composed.
After the first emotions and flushes of victory were over, we all thought of returning to our hospitable quarters at the farm-house, where we were sure of meeting with a hearty welcome. We were not deceived. As the hunters' bugles noted our approach, all the members of the establishment greeted our reception. But the farmer's two daughters and the female servants could not be prevailed upon to look at or touch the badgers ; they had still a lurking suspicion that they might have still some remnant of the demoniacal charm with which their superstitious fears had enveloped them. They expressed, however, great delight that we had captured the animals ; for they now hoped that the " elfin candles” would for a season at least cease to emit their flickering and deceptive rays in that particular locality, and that no midnight wandering spirits would haunt their imagination nor damp their courage.
Having now partaken satisfactorily of French cheer, we got our carriages and horses ready for St. Omer. The hunters' chorus alarmed the whole country through which we passed; and the conquered trophies of our day's sport were conspicuously exhibited on the top of one of the vehicles. This added greatly to the interest of the cavalcade. We dashed up the Haut Pont, the Rue de Dunkerque, through the Rue de Damier, to the foot of the Rue Royale, where we espied a goodly crowd of anxious spectators on the steps of the Café Royal, waiting our arrival. We were received with three hearty cheers from both my countrymen and the French gentlemen standing around. The Café was speedily uncomfortably crowded; and we spent one of the pleasantest evenings possible with our Gaulic brethren, having every reason to be feelingly impressed with their gentlemanly conduct, kindness, and hospitality throughout the whole of the day's proceedings.
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
"As the palate feasts upon savoury and sweet, the ear feasts upon melody, and the eye gorges upon light and colour, till it aches with pleasure.
The audience all spring up, every head nods, every foot beats time, and every heart also ; an universal smile breaks out on every face; the carriage is not ordered ; and every one agrees that music is the most delightful rational entertainment that the human mind can possibly enjoy."
· With the exception of the Opera houses the theatres are deserted, The intense heat of a broiling summer's sun being a powerful inducement to the seeker of amusement to eschew the confined limits of a playhouse for the expansive grounds of the various out-of-door places of recreation. The choice cannot challenge remark, for the enjoyment of the pure air is far preferable to inhaling an atmosphere which, from its fætidness, deals destruction around.
The great event in the musical world has been the production of “La Tempesta" at HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE ; an opera which unites to high musical attractions the dazzling grandeur of spectacle to a degree never before attempted. The first and last scenes are of the most magnificent kind, combining elegance of design and masterly execution, which prominently mark them as triumphs in scenic art, by Mr. Marshall. The composer, Halévy, has succeeded most in the prologue and the second act. The cavatina, by Parodi, is of that lively, stirring strain that immediately seizes upon the imagination, and at once “ every head nods, every foot beats time, and every heart also ; an universal smile breaks out on every face.” No wonder that this spirited composition should be so often redemanded; for, apart from its merits, it may be said the fair singer never before shone to so much advantage. Sontag and Lablache, as Miranda and Caliban, succeed, as they always do, in investing their representations with most marvellous interest. The monster of Lablache stands out from the canvas with marked ferocity of mien that at a glance strikingly shows the truthfulness of the creation. To prove the complete success of this great work, it is only necessary to observe that it has been repeated without a single interruption on every subscription and extra night, since the occasion of the first performance, and that the public appetite appears to grow by what it feeds upon,” for although so often repeated, to listen to the “ Tempesta,” “the cry is still they come.”
Madame Viardot is once more at Covent GARDEN, where the “ Prophète" has been again brought forward, the performance being attended with even more success, as far as applause counts, than on its first production in this country. The alterations in the cast are of a satisfactory nature. Still with all this success it would not be impolitic on the part of the management to vary the entertainment by allowing the powers of Grisi and Ronconi a little more exercise.
An old Adelphi burlesque, called the “ Enchanted Isle,” has been put on the stage at the HAYMARKET, with some additions to the dialogue, to meet the occasion of the novelty at Her Majesty's. The additions"