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about to construct ; and that part which anglers of (what, I trust, will soon be) the old school style the wings you must consider as the upper part of the back. To represent the lower strata of our new formation, you have the different shades of hogs' down-light blue, silver grey, golden olive, yellow, set with a cuckoo-cock's hackle, and topknots, tinsel, &c., when required ; gold for par and trout ; silver for minnow and fry. I am not acquainted with a good feather of an olive tinge, or I would make free use of it for the dorsal portion of our affair ; but this part being less conspicuous, there is less necessity to furnish a correct imitation. A mixture of a few fibres of one, two, or three of the following feathers-turkey, mallard, widgeon, teal, peacock, golden pheasant, &c.—will answer the purpose ; balance the delicate morsel ; and, by the motion the feather will have in the water, prove very attractive."
Here I ventured to ask the revolutionary piscator if the shortest way would not be to use a fly minnow at once, or else the real bonâ fide thing itself.
“I have tried different kinds of artificial minnows," he replied ; “but cannot say I ever did much good with them. There's a still-life stiffness about them—to say nothing of the nasty small hoops that surround them, and the hardness of the material of which they are composed....."
I again took the liberty of interrupting him, to mention that I had read something very near what he appeared about to say in some book or other.
“ Very likely you have. But stop a moment, and I will give you something that you have not read. I will merely observe, before doing so, that I never use a natural minnow until I have tried three or four different-coloured .flies.' To tell the truth, however, a minnow seldom succeeds immediately after them. When I want a fish, I am often guilty of having recourse to that ultima ratio piscatorumma worm-bag :
Rem facias; rem
HOR. “From some of the preceding observations we may, I think, account for the preference given to different colours in different countries.
“On the coast of Ireland, where the fishing begins early in consequence of the mildness of the winters, you will find bright colours in fashion. The fish are ignorant of the ways of the world, sharp-set, and ready to lay hold of the first thing that catches their eye—the more conspicuous the better. Further inland they acquire experience, and their appetite becomes less aldermanic. There is no wood there to poison the river with leaves of any colour, and you find a brown flysometimes a green one—which you will never see in a woody country during the summer. In England and Wales, where wood abounds, blue and dun are the favourite colours ; but in the mountains of the latter country, where there is less wood, drab or quaker-coloured. The Scotch, generally speaking, fish near the sea; but there the season opens very late-bad luck to the snow broth !-when the sun has got the upper hand of the clouds, and the water becomes clear. They have also a juste milieu share of wood ; and, as might be expected from this, and what I have just observed, they cast, and that in very superior style too, a juste milieu fly. Their fish are fresh and hungry, like those of the Irish ; but the clear sky and water do not permit the use of a very showy fly."
“ Salmon, on first ascending a river, take up their quarters in the pools, and as long as the water remains high and rapid, they stop at the tail : as it falls they move to the centre, and on its falling still lower they move up to the head. When the water increases considerably in temperature, they betake themselves to the rapids : as soon as there is no longer water enough for them there they return to the deepest part of the pools. In these migrations they seek as much for a comfortable temperature as a quiet berth : a rapid current is not only difficult to stem, but extremely cold. In summer, however, the streams are warmer than the pools, but they offer no secure harbours.
“ If you consider a salmon worth taking on his return to the pools, there is no better way of going to work than dibbing with field-cricket (gryllus campestris); but if you cannot procure that attractive bait, a cockchafer (melolontha vulgaris) may supply its place. But grilse begin to run up most rivers about this time, and who would think of dibbing for red fish then? Dabbling for chub or barbel-dreadful trade!'-would prove little more insipid.
“ It requires a very long time to acquire a perfect knowledge of a river. You may, however, form a pretty good idea which are the best places, although the river be not much fished at the time you are examining it: the grass growing upon those parts which have been much trodden upon will be coarse, short, and dark-coloured, and in nine cases out of ten the common rush will be found there, if the soil be any way favourable to its production. .
“ It is all stuff to say that salmon won't rise before rain. The thing may be true, and I believe it generally is so, as far as trout are concerned ; but with regard to salmon the case is totally different : they often rise capitally up to the very moment when the dark clouds begin to part with their precious contents, and even until the water begins to thicken. Then, of course, the game is up, and the sooner a man gets home to change his traps the less likely is he to take cold.”
“ Well done, Master Timon,” thought I, “ that is something new ; I only wish you were half an hour in company with a few of the — and clubs.”
" When I intend to fish for trout, which I do occasionally when the salmon are getting lazy, I always turn out before fine weather : I will even go so far as to admit that of two days exactly similar, with regard to water, wind, and cloud, I would prefer, even for salmon, that on which the barometer was rapidly rising, and the weather improving. But the three essentials are water, wind, and cloud. Take advantage of the day on which they are to be had, and heed not what sort of weather is likely to follow. Unfortunately, it generally happens that before fine weather there is a scarcity of clouds ; the wind works into the N.W., or into a worse quarter, and the vapours raised from the sea, passing from a cool to a warmer atmosphere, gradually increasiug in density, are either rarified and dispersed, or raised up and condensed into compact masses termed cumuli, with large intervals of deep blue sky between them.”
It was about this time, I believe, that the enthusiastic innovator favoured me with a long meteorological or hypnological essay-I forget which he termed it : all I know is, that it contained a great deal about clouds, condensed vapour, hygrometers, electrometers, and sympiesometers, all of which my friend had mounted in his study. This part of the lecture proved too many for me, and brought about the petit contretemps I mentioned at the beginning of my paper,
If permitted, I will take the liberty of changing my pedantic pseudonyme for a favourite word of command with my sporting preceptor every time he saw me raise a salmon. It comprises in itself a whole page of instruction in every branch of sporting, save snap-shooting, with which I am acquainted. As the Greeks knew nothing about salmon, could not even afford to give that king of fishes “ a local habitation and a name," I don't see why a salmon-fisher should have recourse to their language, all but divine though it be, for a cognomen.
FOX HUNTING IN SCOTLAND.
Mr. EDITORIn my last notice of “ The Fife Hounds," published in the May number of your Magazine, it was my intention to have given you a correct journal of the sport with “ Merry John” (Walker) and his hounds, up to the end of their season in the “ little kingdom ;” but as “ time” has gone by, and those celebrated hounds have left their old country, let me merely add, that they had a most brilliant season up to the very end, and they are now kenneled at “ Quorn,” and are destined to hunt Leicestershire next season. In other words, “ The Fife Hounds” have been purchased by that worthy and celebrated sportsman, Sir Richard Sutton, the price 500 gs., and cheap at the money, for a better pack of hounds are not to be found in any land.
“ The Fife" were an old-established pack, having hunted in the « little kingdom" for these last fifty years and upwards, and have been governed by our friend, “Merry John,” for these last eighteen years. Walker has gone to rule the roast at Wynnstay, with Sir W. W. Wynne, and we have no doubt will show the sporting community of Cheshire what material he is made of in the forthcoming season. So much for our friend “Merry John," and our old favourites “ The Fife Hounds :" we will only add, that our best wishes go with them; and we shall long regret that such a famous pack of hounds, and clever huntsman, should have been allowed to leave this country. I hear that want of the needful was not the cause ; but mistakes will happen in the best regulated families ; and it certainly was a great mistake for the “ Members of the Fife Hunt” to part with such a noble pack of hounds.
In April we went and saw the Linlithgow hounds (Mr. Ramsay's) finish their season in the western part of this county (Perth); but we had no sport on that day, the country being as dry as a blacksmith's shop. We learned, however, that these hounds had had a very brilliant season. Mr. R. hunts a very extensive country, comprising Stirlingshire, the “ Three" Lothians, part of Lanarkshire, and the western part of Perthshire. Report says that Mr. Ramsay is to take a peep at the ** little kingdom" (Fife) next season, and if this be true we wish him good sport: it is a well known fact that there is no better country than the cast part of Fife for hounds in Britain, and one of the best scenting countries in the world.
The Duke's hounds (Buccleugh's) had good sport throughout their season, and are looking forward to a brilliant season in the next. “ Old Will” (Williamson) still rules the roast there, and is as fresh as a fiveyear-old.
Lord Elcho has given up part of his country (Berwickshire), and we are happy to add that it is not allowed to lie dormant, as a subscription pack are in the very act of being established at this present writing, with Sir G. H. Boswall as master, and our old friend Tom Smith as huntsman. These kennels are at Dunse, and we earnestly wish them every success, and hope to hear or see that “ Dunse dings a'” at the end of next season. Smith hunted Lord Southampton's hounds last season, and gave the “gents” in Northamptonshire a very brilliant season. Lord Elcho, we hear, will chiefly confine his doings to Northumberland next year.
And now, Mr. Editor, with an earnest wish that all hounds may go on and prosper in this and all other countries, Believe me, yours faithfully,
BRUSHWOOD. Banks of the Pow, June 13.
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
- "Such a noise arose
HENRY VIII. “Oh! what a row! what a rumpus, and a rioting !"
The battle of Waterloo, indeed ! Pooh! nonsense! It was nothing to the war which raged for two nights within the walls of old Drurythe arena of fierce contention between French and English. The decisive victory of the British crowned the contest ; an issue that cannot but be viewed by us most favourably, having been the foremost to protest earnestly against the threatened French invasion. It is true our belligerent neighbours expelled our workmen most ignominiously from the shores of France. Equally true it is, our companies of actors were treated, on more occasions than one, in the most contemptuous, unbecoming, and disdainful manner by the citizens of the “fraternising” nation. And there is no denying that the conduct of those in managerial capacity, in the soi-disant polite capital in Europe, was many degrees from courteous or encouraging to our talented artist Miss Birch. Still we would not oppose the introduction of any additional French troupe on any of these grounds, but on that alone of the vast influx of foreign artistes inflicting “a heavy blow and great discouragement” to one and all connected with our metropolitan theatres, from the manager high in power down to the supernumerary low in pocket. Every additional temple of art devoted to foreign performances unquestionably materially operates in diminishing the receipts of those theatres wherein native talent is exhibited. By these agencies the silvery stream ceasing to flow in the English channel, the captain of the British barque is necessitated to desert the helm, the craft becomes neglected, and the inevitable result is, all hands are driven on a lee shore,
Puffery, puffery, puffery, in its fullest and most unlimited extent, is being practised by the manager of HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE, where failures are magnified into successes, and mutilations are trumpeted forth as improvements. As “ dreams go by contraries,” in like measure must managerial announcements be interpreted. You may rest assured a “glorious triumph,” in theatrical parlance, is neither more nor less than a most miserable failure ; and “ a house crowded to the ceiling" is strong evidence that the manager's orders effected a pyramidal display. Mr. Lumley has perpetrated the most fiendish, inhuman, and atrocious assault upon a composition ill deserving such a sorry fate : “ Roberto” compressed—two acts left out, a principal character taken away (and such a character to take away !)—and little liberties of a like heinous description. Oh, Meyerbeer, Meyerbeer! here is treatment for thee! Surely Cruvelli is still a member of the company ? But there, we beg pardon : Mademoiselle Lind, peradventure, approves not of the custom of honours being shared.
“ Upon what meat doth this our prima donna feed,” that she can bear no rivals near her throne? Would that we had enumerated all the sins upon taste committed during the past month by the lessee of this house ; but positive duty compels us to record no trifling amount of unconquerable disgust at the terrific onslaught made upon Donnizetti, by reproducing his “Don Pasquale” in so worthless a form. With the exception of Lablache, the opera in every shape was most vilely and execrably presented to the subscribers.
Grisi and Alboni have been exercising their “sweet voices” to the delight of the habitués of the Royal ITALIAN OPERA. The directors, in their persevering determination of not relaxing in their efforts to place before their subscribers operas in the most perfect and complete manner, are making extensive preparations for producing the Huguenots, in which Viardot Garcia will display her rich vocal capabilities. This will be followed by Haydée, affording Roger an opportunity of exhibiting his powers in the part that he has succeeded in achieving so great a degree of popularity in Paris. The ballet is considerably strengthened by the valuable addition of Lucille Grahn and Mademoiselle Robert—the latter, to no inconsiderable degree of grace unites a charming person.
In another week the HAYMARKET THEATRE will terminate its season. Ere that period, all admirers of sterling comedy, supported by efficient performers, should avail themselves of the chance of witnessing many of the productions of our best authors represented in spirited fashion. The Keans have been drawing excellent houses. Mrs. Kean's acting in Bulwer's “Money,” and “The Wife's Secret,” is the theme of general admiration. Their benefit on Monday will amply testify the regard they are held in by Majesty and the public.
We question whether the “ Beggar's Opera” was ever brought forward in the style that distinguishes its production at the LYCEUM. The ensemble is perfectly pleasing. The Lucy of Madame Vestris, the Polly of Miss Fitzwilliam, the Mrs. Peachum of Mrs. Charles Jones, the Filch of Harley, the Captain Macheath of Harrison, the Peachum of Frank Matthews, are all embodiments that strikingly evidence the artistic skill of the several performers. The scenery, costumes, and general arrangements of the stage undeniably proclaim the presence of a vast amount of taste on the part of the fair manageress.