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prevails in those parts where this description of game is found, is represented to be of the finest character. I adopt the term "represented," never having travelled so far north as Scotland, and my personal experience in this amusement is confined to one day, many years ago, with poor Mytton, at Dinas Mowddy. It was a very moist day-wet, in every sense of the expression: what with the rain received externally, and the "cold without" taken internally, the party was tolerably well soaked, and the game brought to bag very easily counted there were but few grouse then; now, I understand, there are not any. The estate, unfortunately, has gone out of the family. Over a wild moor, where the heath is strong, where there are occasional patches of treacherous bogs, and more especially in mountainous districts, the exertion of walking is necessarily severe. With the exception of mountains, Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire, affords some idea of the nature of the moors. The partridges have been in most favourable situations plentiful, although the late period when harvest operations commenced, combined with the dryness of the land and heat of the weather, have operated against heavy accounts of "killed." The last breeding season, both for partridges and pheasants, was very prolific, which is more than can be said for the two preceding ones. Where care has been bestowed on their preservation, the stock has been got up to the usual standard.
As the preservation of pheasants is intimately connected with the preservation of foxes, it will not be out of place to introduce a few remarks on the subject, which may be interesting to those who desire to have a good show of both; and living in a country where foxes are very numerous, and game is abundant, I never lose an opportunity of gaining a wrinkle. The head-keeper, who is a man of great experience, tells me, that in the event of a hen pheasant being disturbed from her nest, he places the eggs under a common hen, although a considerable time may have elapsed since the eggs were forsaken. Impressed with an idea, which is I believe prevalent, that the eggs would become cold, and that the embryo birds would perish, unless placed under a hen in the course of an hour or two, I made an observation to that effect; but the keeper informed me it was quite a mistake, and that he frequently reared pheasants from eggs that had been abandoned five or six hours, whether they had only been sat upon a few days, or were nearly ready to hatch; and that even if they had been left a whole day, he always tried them with a hope of success. He is provided with coops for the hens, in which the nests are formed, and these are placed on the ground; he takes the hens off their nests once every day to feed, and keeps them off a full hour, which, he says, is preferable to allowing them to go on and off ad libitum. At these times he sprinkles the eggs with water, giving as a good reason that in consequence of the extremely dry heat of the common hen they require it, in order to soften the shells and enable the young birds to chip them more easily. When the habits of the pheasant are considered, these remarks are founded upon good data: having to search for food, the bird is no doubt off her nest full an hour or more daily, and in her perambulations among the dewy grass, she moistens her feathers, in which state she returns to her eggs. I find in the management of poultry the same observances are
conducive to equally beneficial results, especially with ducks' eggs, set under a common hen. To preserve the pheasants' nests from foxes, a gaudy-coloured rag, or piece of tin, should be tied to a stick near the spot. A fox may occasionally take a fancy for an egg as a relish to his matutinal meal, if not well supplied with food; although I am quite certain he is condemned for many of these depredations unjustly. Independently of the important fact that foxes and game are in many places preserved to a great extent in the same coverts, it is asserted by many of the most experienced writers on natural history, that carnivorous animals do not prefer to feed on the feathered tribes. If the foxes are sufficiently provided with food during the period of incubation, they will not trouble themselves much in search of the pheasants' nests, more especially if the precincts are tatooed after the fashion already suggested. As to a fox taking a full-grown pheasant, unless it be one which has been wounded, it is a very rare occurrence; they invariably roost beyond the reach of the foxes. In large game preserves, where everything is conducted with regularity, the feeding of the pheasants is attended to with the utmost punctuality; but there are many persons whose estates are small, who do not pay due regard to this custom, and are disappointed because they have very few pheasants in their coverts as the winter wears away, although they are aware that an average number was bred their land; they are often apt to conjecture that the foxes have deprived them of their stock, in which their keepers generally coincide, if indeed they do not promulgate the accusation. Early in the season the pheasants will probably find a sufficiency of natural food in the coverts; and if they are favourably situated and undisturbed, the birds will very probably resort to them until the food which they contained is consumed, or hard weather sets in, when they will depart to some covert the owner of which provides for them with greater liberality, and there in all probability they will remain. This is certainly an unfortunate propensity in the habits of the pheasant, inasmuch as it tends to attract the greater portion to the large preserves, when they ought to be dispersed throughout the country; but, knowing their character, it is the fault of every landed proprietor who wishes to preserve them if he does not do so by courting their society according to their notions of hospitality. Although pheasants are not capable of being domesticated like poultry, if unmolested they acquire an extraordinary degree of confidence. There are several which come close to my house daily, where they may be seen in the little paddock with my fowls, and, while the latter are being fed, will remain within ten or twelve yards from the person who is feeding them, walking about with a proud majestic step, as if conscious of their beauty. I have not as yet been able to prevail upon them actually to join the fowls at feeding times, but have no doubt they will do so when hard weather commences, and their ordinary food becomes less abundant.
One of the most impressive warnings of the time of year, is the St. Leger; not only to racing men, in whom the speculation connected therewith is a cause of great excitement, but to all sportsmen, It has become a and indeed, I may add, to most Englishmen. national feeling, and it is worthy to be encouraged. In connection with the Derby, the best blood of the year is assayed; and the result
becomes a subject of universal interest. It must be conceded, I think, that the running of the three-year-olds during the past summer has not been of that superior character which is observable in some of the preceding years. In making this remark, I do not jump to the conclusion that our breed of horses has deteriorated. The superiority of horses of different years will fluctuate; and that phenomenon may be attributed to certain influences of seasons, over which human nature has no control. Virago does honour to her sex-she is unquestionably a most extraordinary filly; and it was unfortunate that the course at Doncaster was so hard as to render it impolitic to run West Australian against her for "the Coop." Comparing the three-year-old colts which have been running this year, they certainly are not equal to Van Tromp, the Flying Dutchman, Teddington, or West Australian.
The scene which took place after the Doncaster Stakes was a lamentable event. Ruffianism is discreditable under any circumstances, and especially so on a race-course, the arena of a national sport. It is to be regretted that the aleatorial appetite cannot be appeased with any other aliment than racing; and still more is it to be regretted that when men have gorged themselves to an excess which they cannot digest, they should endeavour to unburthen their stomachs by acts of violence. It is certainly highly reprehensible for any man to represent, either directly or undirectly, that which is not true; but I never could understand what right any man can have to ask an owner or trainer of race-horses any questions concerning their horses. Attempting to gain information by surreptitiously watching horses in their trials is utterly unpardonable; and any person who does so, and speculates upon his supposed advantage, deserves to be put in "the hole." Mr. John Scott has made a public declaration that, in his trials, Boiardo was a better horse than Acrobat, and that he believes the former horse would have won the St. Leger, if he had not broken down. This declaration was, of course, made after the race, and "after the row." Knowing Boiardo to be a roarer, which the public did know, he must have been a sanguine man who expected he would get through such a race as the St. Leger. He ran a bad horse for the 2,000 gs. Stakes, and in the races which he won, he beat nothing. Acrobat's running has been undoubtedly superior, therefore the public were justified in considering him the best horse; and his running subsequent to the St. Leger does not reverse that opinion. On this occasion, therefore, the expression of public opinion manifested at Doncaster arose not from any private information, but from the running of the horses. That some expressions of disapprobation were not altogether unlikely to be raised, excites no very great surprise; but in any case when a body of men set upon an individual with ruffianly violence, such cowardly acts raise a feeling in the minds of Englishmen which reinstate the delinquent in favour, and, to a great extent, he is acquited of his misdeeds."
The betting community are wonderfully led by phantoms; when once they take up a scent, then run it through riot and all impediments with wonderful pluck. Their pertinacity in some instances is truly marvellous. When it was known that Autocrat was to go to Doncaster, he became a favourite at a short price: as if his exhibition for
the Derby was not sufficient to convince any rational man that his legs would not bear a preparation. The report was that they had been completely restored, or, more expressively speaking, reformed by the application of Major's Remedy. Without going into any consideration respecting the merits or demerits of that nostrum, can any man, having the slightest experience in the management of horses, suppose that any medicament can be used effectually without giving the animal rest? and is there an individual so innocently verdant as not to know that a horse cannot win a St. Leger unless he is in strong work and in the highest condition possible?
A recent arrangement has been made which promises to be very acceptable to the sportsmen who frequent that queen of watering places-Brighton. Invigorat edby the bracing effects of the sea breezes, the nerves are strung to concert-pitch, when the spirits are in fine order to enjoy venatic exercises; influenced by two such powerful auxiliaries, the constitution must be in a hopeless case if the most vigorous health is not insured. Mr. Freeman Thomas, who has for several seasons afforded excellent sport, as master of the South Down Foxhounds, has been prevailed upon to relinquish some of his coverts near Eastbourne, for the purpose of hunting the country more frequently in the immediate vicinity of Brighton, where it is said there is a good supply of foxes. In furtherance of this object a most influential committee has been formed, comprising Lord Cranstoun, Captain Bethune, G. Ballard, and J. B. May, Esqrs. Personally, I have had but little experience of hunting in the county of Sussex, and that little was in my youthful days; but, from what I can remember of it, I am quite of opinion that a few gorse coverts on the Downs, well preserved, would be productive of excellent sport. In former days there were several patches of natural gorse which occasionally held foxes. I have no doubt they still remain; they only require to be enclosed, and the foxes fed in them, to render them certain finds. And if their coverts are not sufficiently numerous, the rent of a few acres of land for the purpose of forming gorse coverts would be an expenditure well laid out.
The commencement of the hunting season suggests to those who are not bound to any particular spot the necessity of selecting their winter quarters. "Where shall I hunt next season?" said an old friend to me a few days since, who was at that time sojourning at Cheltenham. "How can you improve upon the place you are now at?" I inquired. "Why," he replied, "the place is so full; there are such enormous fields out; and, to tell you the truth, I do not admire the country. If I go to Leamington I shall get out of the frying-pan into the fire; besides which, there is too much gaiety for me. I prefer more quietude." "Then," I observed, go into the Vale of White Horse: either take a house for the season, or patronize Cirencester. If you do not like that, try Aylesbury; at the White Hart you will have everything you can desire, which I can vouch for. It is surrounded by an unexceptionable country, principally grass, and hunted by Lord Southampton, Baron Rothschild, Mr. Drake, and Lord Lonsdale is frequently within reach. You can easily run up to London when disposed to do so. And if
you are not satisfied with all those enjoyments, you must be more than fastidious."
Before this meets the eye of the public, the legitimate racing season will have terminated with the Houghton Meeting, which is this year unusually early. The chase will then commence in earnest. Abundantly as foxes have been preserved during the last few years, I believe there have never been more, if so many, as there are at present. This is the gratifying intelligence I have received from friends in various hunting countries, who are enthusiasts sufficient to induce them to attend the hounds in the cub-hunting season. Every thing augurs well for a most prosperous season; there is, however, a circumstance which will occasion sincere regret in every hunting country throughout the kingdom-the absence of many of our best sportsmen at the seat of war. Some, alas! are already cut off never to return; but the remembrance of those who are spared, and yet absent, will cause many a bumper toast to be drunk to their success and happiness.
THE PERSPECTIVE OF OUR NATIONAL SPORTS.
BY A LOOKER-ON.
So animated that it might allure
Saint from his beads to join the jocund race;
Your "laudator temporis acti" is prodigiously prone to found his conceits on assumed premises, and his principles on suppositious theory. For example, in reference to false facts-as Mrs. Malaprop might say it is written in the "Sporting Enclycopædia" that " in the sacred page the records of The Chase are given with an air of sanctity which well befits the source from whence they are derived: thus we learn that Nimrod as a mighty hunter was an especial favourite with the Almighty."... Now, the only mention made of this "first monarch" in the Old Testament is to be found in the eighth and ninth verses of the tenth chapter of Genesis, where not one word intimates that he was "an especial favourite with the Almighty," or that he ever chased beast of the field from the day of his birth to that of his death. All we are told of him is that
"Cush begat Nimrod: he became a mighty one in the earth. "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord."...
Holy Writ speaks of "the fishers of men"; why not of the hunters of men likewise, by implication? At these presents, one