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sion to all stumbling. And now for the heather! But are you sure, gents, that we are on?
And has it come to this! Where is the grandson of the desert-born ?
Thirty years ago, and thou Filho da Puta wert a flyer ! A fencer beyond compare ! Dost thou remember how, for a cool five hundred, thou clearedst yon canal in a style that rivalled that of the red-deer across the chasms of Cairngorm ? All we had to do, was to hold hard and not ride over the hounds, when running breast-high on the rear of Reynard the savage pack wakened the welkin with the tumultuous hubbub of their death-cry, and whipper-in and huntsmen were flogging on their faltering flight in vain through fields and forests flying behind thy heels that glanced and glittered in the frosty sunshine. What steed like thee in all Britain at a steeple chase? Thy hoofs scorned the strong stubble, and skirmed the deep fallows, in which all other horsesheavy there as dragoons — seemed fetlock-bound, or laboured on in staggerings, soil-sunk to the knees. Ditches dwindled beneath thy bounds, and rivulets were as rills; or if in flood they rudely overran their banks, into the spate plunged thy sixteen hands and a-half height, like a Polar monster leaping from an iceberg into the sea, and then lifting up thy small head and fine neck and high shoulder, like a Draco from the weltering waters, with a few proud pawings to which the recovered greensward rang, thy whole bold, bright-brown bulk reappeared on the bank, crested by old Christo
pher, and after one short snorting pause, over the miry meadows—tantivy !—tantivy !-away ! away! away!
Oh! son of a Rep! were not those glorious days? But Time has laid his finger on us both, Filho; and never more must we two be seen by the edge of the cover,
“ When first the hunter's startling horn is heard
Upon the golden hills.” 'Tis the last learned and highest lesson of Wisdom, Filho, in man's studious obedience to Nature's laws—to know when to stop in his career. Pride, Passion, Pleasure, all urge him on; while Prudence, Propriety, Peace, cry halt ! halt ! halt! That mandate we have timeously obeyed; and having, unblamed we hope, and blameless, carried on the pastimes of youth into manhood, and even through the prime of manhood to the verge of
after some few farewell vagaries up and down the debatable land, we had the resolution to drop our bridle-hand, to unloosen the spurs from our heels, and to dismount from the stateliest and swiftest steed, Filho, that ever wafted mortal man over moor and mountain like a storm-driven cloud.
You are sure we are on, Hamish? And that he will not run away ? Come, come Surefoot, none of your funking! A better mane for holding on by we could not imagine. Pure Shelty you say, Hamish? From his ears we should have suspected his grandfather of having been at least a Zebra.
FLIGHT SECOND-THE COVES OF CRUACHAN.
COMMA---semicolon—colon-full-point! All three scent-struck into attitude steady as stones.
That is beautiful. Ponto straight as a rod—Piro in a slight curve—and Basta a perfect semicircle. O'Bronte ! down on your marrowbones. But there is no need, Hamish, either for hurry or haste. On such ground, and on such a day, the birds will lie as if they were asleep. Hamish, the flask !not the powder-flask, you dotterel - but the Glenlivet. 'Tis thus we always love to steady our hand for the first shot. It gives a fine feeling to the forefinger.
Ha! the heads of the old cock and hen, like snakes, above the heather-motionless, but with glancing eyesand preparing for the spring. Whirr—whirr—whirrbang-bang-tapsilleery—tapsalteery—thud—thudthud! Old cock and old hen both down, Hamish. No
mean omen, no awkward .augury, of the day's sport. Now for the orphan family-marked ye them round
“ The swelling instep of the mountain's foot ?"
66 Faith and she's the teevil's nainsel—that is she-at the shutin'; for may I tine ma mull, and never pree sneeshin' mair, if she hae na richt and left murdered fowre o' the creturs !"_“ Four !—why we only covered the old people; but if younkers will cross, 'tis their own fault that they bite the heather.”—“ They're a' fowre spewin', sir, except ane—and her's head's aff—and she's jumpin' about waur nor ony othem, wi' her bluidy neck. I wuss she mayna tak to her wings again, and owre the knowe. But ca’ in that great toozy ootlandish dowg, sir, for he's devourin' them—see hoo he's flingin' them, first ane and then anither, outowre his shoother, and keppin' them afore they touch the grun in his mooth, like a mountebank wi' a shoor o' oranges !"“ Hamish, are they bagged ?"_“ Ou aye.”—“ Then away to windward, ye sons of bitches—Heavens, how they do their work.!”
Up to the time of our grand climacteric we loved a wide range-and thought nothing of describing and discussing a circle of ten miles diameter in a day, up to our hips in heather. But for these dozen or twenty years bypast, we have preferred a narrow beat, snugly seated on a shelty, and pad the hoof on the hill no more. Yonder is the kind of ground we now love—for why should an old man make a toil of a pleasure ? 'Tis one of the many small coves belonging to Glen-Etive, and
looks down from no very great elevation upon the Loch. Its bottom, and sides nearly halfway up, are green pastures, sheep-nibbled as smooth as a lawn—and a rill, dropping in diamonds from the cliffs at its upper end, betrays itself, where the water is invisible, by a line of still livelier verdure. An old dilapidated sheepfold is the only building, and seems to make the scene still more solitary. Above the green pastures are the richest beds and bosoms of heather ever bees murmured onand above them nothing but bare cliffs. A stiff breeze is now blowing into this cove from the sea-loch; and we shall slaughter the orphan family at our leisure. 'Tis probable they have dropped-single bird after single bird—or in twos and threes—all along the first line of heather that met their flight; and if so, we shall pop them like partridges in turnips. Three points in the game! Each dog, it is manifest, stands to a different lot of feathers; and we shall slaughter them, without dismounting, seriatim. No, Hamish-we must dismount --give us your shoulder>that will do. The Crutch —now we are on our pins. Take a lesson. Whirr ! Bang! Bag number one, Hamish. Ay, that is right, Ponto-back Basta. Ditto, ditto. Now Ponto and Basta both back Piro— right and left this time—and not one of the brood will be left to cheep of Christopher. Be ready—attend us with the other double-barrel. Whirr ! Bang-bang-bang-bang! What think you of that, you son of the mist? There is a shower of feathers! They are all at sixes and sevens upon the greensward at the edge of the heather. Seven birds at