« 上一页继续 »
rate, however, I must take you to a little dell, with overhanging trees and rocks, between which runs, or rather tumbles, the Chudleigh Brook. See, here it is : before you lies the road to Bovey; au revoir.
I am afraid, George, I have kept you waiting ; I was detained some time below. The water looked so refreshing, and I felt so uncomfortable, that I resolved to take a dip ; and a most refreshing swim I have had. My sport has been moderate, 35 lastspring and 19 trout ; generally speaking, they are small. I can find, however, three or four halfpounders for breakfast tomorrow morning. As it is now past seven I think we had better defer our dinner till we arrive at Moreton Hampstead ; so allons.
George.—" I must say, Charles, I wonder you can waste so many hours in fishing; all your thoughts are concentrated in watching your fly, catching the bough of a tree now and then by way of a variety, and losing your temper at your own clumsiness ; your mind is totally unemployed.”
Charles.-" There you are wrong ; I think more when I am fishing than, perhaps, at any other time. To-day I have been composing-nay, do not laugh-a song in praise of the gentle art. To show you I can think, however, bad as it is, I will produce it, and you
shall determine on its merits ; and, as you are a poet, you may criticize it as much as
George.—"Well ; let me read this
Away to the brook, all your tackle out-look,
For, lo ! 'tis glorious weather ;
Upon the untrampled heather.
The brook with streamlet swells ;
Sweeps up the fairy dells.
The lark uplifts her song ;
Now gently glide along.
Of a monster in his nook ;
Around your barbed hook.
The tempting bait he saw ;
Ly fixed in his upper jaw.
You check his mad career ;
And seeks his sheltered lair.
He scarcely moves, but feeble grows,
And the unequal fight gives o'er ;
Your victim to the shore.
It is not bad, Charles ; though I do not like some of your rhymes ; as home and stone, bound and sound-ly. I exempt you, however, from the charge of being a thoughtless angler ; but here is Moreton Hampstead."
Such is the name of a village situated on the borders of Dartmoor, containing 2,000 inhabitants. A sad accident happened here on the 10th of September, 1845 : at about nine in the morning a fire broke out in the flue of a chimney in a baker's house, and destroyed 53 houses_half the village—before an engine could be brought from Exeter, twelve miles off ; the parish one, as is usually the case when wanted, being out of repair : happily no lives were lost. The village is prettily situated, and near it runs the river, or rather brook, Wrey, which abounds in large trout, and a few lastsprings, or pinks. These fish are known in several parts of England by various names, as hoppers, pinks, lastsprings, gravel lastsprings, salmon lastsprings, skirlings, and fingerlings (so called from having five or six marks down the body, as if a man's fingers had been laid on them). They are undoubtedly the young of the common salmon.
Charles.-“ I am afraid, George, you will not meet much to sketch today on our way over the moor ; all hill and dale; not a tree, not a shrub, not a house for miles, to relieve the eye; one interminable shapeless mass of rock and fern, with heath intermixed. Though perhaps not a pleasing prospect to you, yet I rejoice in it, as in nearly every valley you will find a stream and plenty of trout-small
, but of sufficient number to make up in quantity what is deficient in weight ; and as for quality, none are sweeter and richer for tho table Among the various rivers that intersect Dartmoor, the East Dart, West Dart, and Cherrybrook, may be considered as the best ; for my part, I catch more in the last mentioned, that runs midway between the East and West Dart : its water is all turbid—no dead flats, except at its source. But here is Two Bridges, where I hope to find accommodation for the night.- -What! no beds ! no inn nearer than Ashburton ; 12 miles off! How provoking! after a tiresome fag of eighteen miles ! But there is no help for it: we must proceed—but first I must visit the cow-shed.”
George.—“ What are you going to do with that piece of red cow's hair?”
Charles.—“I am going to make a fly with it; and let me tell you that one made with this same hair wound round as the body, with some sticking out for legs, and a starling's wing, is the very best on the moor all the year round, though in our other Devonshire rivers, only large rivers mind, it kills best in March before the March brown or cob comes on. I have used it in the Exe above Tiverton, at Cove, with great success, when the fish would not deign to notice any other fly. Here it is, as uncouth and ugly a piece of artificial nature as you would wish to see ; but the result of my throw is a fine trout—there's another. Ah! I saw a beauty rise below that stone ; see, I will throw gently above him, and as it floats round the eddy, strike the hook deep in his tongue, just somand a better one than his neighbours.
Ah! he soon tires : gently put your net under him : thank you-above a pound, and in capital condition. Look at the quivering motions of its fins in its gasping agonies! They put me in mind of those exquisite lines of Stodhart, a part of which I have quoted above
6 A birr, a whirr, the fish is ours,
Upon the bank extended;
All beautifully blended.
'Tis hushed ; it hath forsaken.
Until its notes awaken.'
George.—“ I shall not be sorry; for I am heartily sick of this endless moor. I have only made a sketch of a pretty bridge-Two Bridges I think you called it, though why it is called two I do not know, as there is only one; the rivers unite an hundred yards above the bridge, not below. I see on this south-east direction we have rather more civilized scenerywhat is that dark mass before us?”
Charles.—“Oh! that is the begginning of a wood ; we enter some enclosed land here, and there is a farm-house at the bottom of the hill ; here is a bridge over the East Dart, now a large river, that
16. Brawls over rocks and wild cascades.' When we have ascended the hill on the other side, you will be astonished at the view.”
George.--" I could not have supposed, Charles, a sight so grand ; few, I take it, have seen Dartmeet Bridge by moonlight-and such a moon ! That dark mass of wood, sloping down to the water's edge, contrasts with the barren rock and turf on this side; it is an oasis in the desert : see the river below, and hark to the
«« Fair streams which ever ran
With the same music since the world began.' the West Dart in the distance, with the silver moon cresting its waters. I am, indeed, repaid ; and doubly so for my toiling walk. Dartmeet Hill, farewell! few know thy charms ! but, as we are five miles from our beds, let us proceed. ...... I am glad we are at Ashburtou at last, and that we are out of that road which looked like the roof of a house. I thought we were never coming to the bottom; and you call it a Devonshire lane. 'Faith they are mighty pleasant in hot weather and daylight I have no doubt; but at night I cannot appreciate them-all darkness ; and as for the moon, she might have never appeared, for the good she has done us. I am tired with my walk of thirty miles over such rough ground, and under a burning August sun; at least the first eighteen miles was hot enough."
Charles.-" True, George ; but as we have much easier work tomorrow, you may rest undisturbed. Here is our resting place— The Golden Lion.' We breakfast at ten—Good night.
C. L. E.
(To be continued).
SMOKING AND SMOKERS. An Antiquarian, Historical, Comical, Veritable, and Narcotical Disquisition. London: Joseph Baker, Cigar-merchant, 110, Cheapside.
SNUFF AND SNUFF-TAKERS. By the Author of “Smoking and Smokers.” London : Joseph Baker, Cigar-merchant, 110, Cheapside.
On the Sancho Panza principle of invoking blessings on the head of the man that first invented sleep, how large must be the share of gratitude due to the primitive discoverer of tobacco ! a weed that Spencer was wont to designate “divine," and that Byron, in the brilliancy of his muse, immortalized as “sublime.” It were a facile task to mention a multiplicity of choice spirits, "good and true," who in their time have poured forth glorifications of the odorous herb. But at this season we must e'en be content to treat of the claims of the brochure before us to popular favour. It cannot be denied that the author of “Smoking and Smokers” is a complete master of his subject in all its pleasing varieties. Whether he be revelling in the luxurious divan with the rich meerschaum in his mouth, puffing the gentle Havanah in some homely domicile, working at his favourite cheroot outside a coach on a cold wintry-night, or blowing clouds from the humble yard of clay in the quiet parlour of a “public,” he is equally at home. In short, long-cut or shortcut, to him it is all the same. If it be urged that our author is in some chapters in nubibus, we ask, is it not a transitory condition perfectly natural for one who enjoys his whiffs ?
Of “Snuff and Snuff-takers” what shall we say? It would be ill-judged to give vent to a tissue of nonsense, which we probably might perpetrate if we ventured to descant philosophically anent the important subject. Well, then-there is no denying the “soft impeachment”-we are entirely unskilled in the matter to which this treatise refers; in plebeian parlance, we are not “up to snuff,” and we do not feel inclined to cram, in this particular instance, our nasal promontory. It is therefore with the thorough conviction of the profundity of this pinching subject, which we candidly confess to not having at our fingers'-ends, that we have arrived at the conclusion that, take it altogether (and only altogether), it is not to be sneezed at.
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF THE METROPOLIS.
" To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
“ Stunn'd by the din, and giddy with the glare,
Man never is, but always is to be—amused. The managers of our public places of amusement are invariably liberally rich in their promises of attractive entertainment to set before their kind-hearted and
generally very amiably disposed patrons. Like the school-boy who declares that the hand-writing in his copy-book is not his “best,” lessees of theatres take great pains to assure the public that their present performances are trifling in comparison to the rich stores of entertainment which they have in readiness to bring forward on an early occasionrather an indefinite period, certes ; but there, if the promised novelties are not produced this season, they will be next : at least the manager gives his word to that effect :
“ And Brutus was an honourable man." Apollo and Terpsichore, it would appear, have completely filled up the niches ignorantly awarded to Melpomene and Thalia in our modern temples. Whatever district chance may cause you to circumambulate, it is a hundred to one (and those are not trifling odds) that your auricular powers will be positively flummuxed with sounds which partake not of the mellifluent, but rather of the swipey, beery, Barclay and Perkinsified kind. Barclay and Perkins did we write ?
We did : and we were right ; for that never-to-be-forgotten nomenclature, so associated with hops, brings to our recollection the frequent tramps that we have heard proceed from houses in many parts of this merry metropolis. We have listened to the sound, now-a-days “ too familiar to the ear," and conjectured that some private individuals, Narcissus-like, have had casts of themselves struck, and—as the Wellington statue was conveyed to its destination by a team of dray-horses—we innocently supposed that the whim had seized the persons in question of having their figures of fun drawn by a similar conveyance. In indulging in such hypotheses we soon discovered our error. Persevering in our researches, we traced the discordant “ batterings to proceed from the vibration of the huge hoofs of the Terpsichorean visitors of one of those establishments devoted to music and dancing so very prevalent at this juncture.
There was a sound of revelry by night,