did run smooth, and I suppose never will now; for after passing one of those blissful evenings, which then were my very life and existence, I awoke to find that my Agnes had been torn from me. Her uncle and guardian had been warned of the enemy in the camp, the whole particulars had been forwarded him, but by whom we never could discover, and, like a good general, he had determined on a surprise. He had come to England without the slightest notice, and the very same day had moved the Court of Chancery-not to tears, like me-but for permission to take his ward back with him to Ireland, to his regiment and wife. There being no opposition or objection raised, this order he easily obtained, and, like the Syrian, he came down as a wolf on the fold and stole away the lamb. The utter state of confusion that all were thrown into, it would be impossible to picture: we were all broken-hearted. Ás for her mother and myself, we were almost undone and hopeless. On a small slip of paper, which she had managed to put into the hands of the faithful butler for me, she had written in pencil

, “ Be true; yours till death.-Aones.” This was some trifling help to me, and, after the first shock had been got over, bore me bravely up ; but, as to the old lady, she was thoroughly inconsolable, and all about her, from day to day, expected ber to die with grief. Nor was it surprising, as Agnes was her only child; she had been all in all to her mother, and this was their first separation. The step, so far as brutality and cruelty were concerned, could not have been surpassed; but the Colonel, with a severe military frown, and totally indifferent to the scene he had created, coolly answered that “he had higher game for his niece, with £30,000 to fly at, than a pennyless lawyer's clerk.” The amount of Agnes’s fortune I never knew until after she had left in the custody of the savage and sly commanding officer. I used frequently to call at the house, but I soon perceived that, much as she liked me and felt inclined to assist me, my visits gave Mrs. Jeffery more pain than pleasure, reminding her too much of her lost dear one; and, in the next place, that there was no open or other channel by wbich there was a chance of communicating with her. There was nothing left me, therefore, but to make friends with the butler, who had served her father for some years, and we often met—sometimes in the pantry, where we would crack a bottle, and sometimes at the neighbouring public-house, to smoke and chat over a glass of grog. Still no news of Agnes, excepting the simple family gossip, and that she was well and happy. All I could now do was lo gulp down my misery, and drown the thoughts of my first love.




CHAPTER LXXXVI, We do not think we can usher in the New Year better than by giving the following lines, written by one to whom the "Sporting Review indebted for some valuable contributions; and also by wishing the spirited proprietor of this work, his staff, and all our readers, a happy New Year, and many returns of the festive season :

“ Hark! 'tis December's latest chime,

The season's passing bell ;
It hath that solemn note of time,

A moral in its knell.
Thou art not meant, stern year of fate!

To die and make no sign-
Thus shall be read, dark 'Sixty-eight,

Thy lore in 'Sixty-nine."
After the winter cometh spring,

And odour-breathing May,
And pleasant buds, and birds that sing

Their mellow lives away
The dawn upon the night doth wait,

To shower succeedeth shine
The sun that sets on 'Sixty-eight

Will rise on 'Sixty-nine.
“ The waters that the frost hath bound

The sunbeam will set free,
Loose the snow wreath, and give the ground

Its flowery liberty.
Accords each season with its date,

Moves order's stated line-
So yield the clouds of 'Sixty-eight

To rays in 'Sixty-nine.” Although during the hard frosts that usually set in at this period of the year, hunting is put an end to, skating may be had to perfection ; and here it may not be uninteresting to our readers to give an account of a cricket-match in skates :

“ The Sheffield Skating Club played a cricket-match on the ice at Chatsworth, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, on the Swiss Cottage Pond, early in the year 1848. The ice was in splendid condition, being as smooth as a piece of glass. After the first innings, the party retired to the tent, which was fixed at the edge of the dam, and partook of an excellent lunch, and afterwards some beautiful figure-skating took place. The game was again resumed, and the balls played with, were made of gutta-percha; the frost had a tendency to make them very hard, and from hard-hitting caused them to break; but it is the opinion of the club that they will answer very well in summer. The following is the score : J. Dodsworth's side, 150; M. Dodsworth's side, 162.”

The earliest narratives of the mysteries of woodcraft unanimously reconimend field-sports as conducive to health. In those ages, to find and slay the animal was the only consideration; the advantages taken,

or to

and the subtersuges resorted to in order to accomplish that end, sanctioned by the custom of the day, were then considered perfectly legitimate, though many would now not only be termed poaching, but would be considered as uncouth and unsportsmanlike. Yet, what matters the change, providing the two great objects are accomplished-health and recreation? That very few of the present generation attend at the covert's side for the avowed purpose of gaining or maintaining heaven's richest gift, can scarcely be questioned ; yet

the end is accomplished : and so long as great and harmless benefits arise, no matter what may be the peculiar fashion by which they are ordered. Some men follow the chase inspired by pure love thereof—the real amor venati—these come under the denomination of true sportsmen ; others hunt for the sake of fashion, and, so long as they can turn out neatly, are wellmounted, and can have a gossip at the covert's side, they are content; many follow the hounds to exhibit their “noble horsemanship sell a hunter at a high price. Thus, out of three classes, only one set of men deserve to be called real lovers of the “ Noble Science.'

The squire in days of old was an inveterate sportsman-slow, we admit, compared to the fast men of our day; of him it was said :

He kept a pack of fox-hounds,

Of the good Old English breed ;
Most musical and staunch they were,

But not much famed for speed.
“ His horses were enduring,

And could go a decent pace;
To suit his hounds he bred them,

Not to win a steeplechase.
“ He boldly charged o'er hedge and ditch,

Nor stopt at gate or brook ;
And many a Melton Mowbray'swell'

Would baulk the leaps he took.
“Oh! 'twas a glorious sight to see him

Thro' a bull-fence make a gap,
With his pigtail, like a drumstick,

Hanging out behind his hat." “ Hat" and " gap” do not rhyme ; perhaps "nap," a slang term for a hat, was meant ; but I give the lines as I found them.

A great deal has been written upon the subject of damage done to the farmers by a pack of hounds, and, without entering into the question, we will merely give the following anecdote:

A farmer called on the late Earl Fitzwilliam, and complained that, in his hunting excursions with his hounds, he had trodden down a field of wheat so as to do it damage. The Earl told him that if he would procure an estimate of the loss he would pay it. The man informed him that he had done so already, and it was believed the damage would be £30. The Earl paid it; but, as spring came on, the wheat which had been trodden down grew up and became the best in the field. The farmer honestly returned the £50. “Ah!" said the Earl, “ that is what I like. This is as it ought to be between man and man.” After making some inquiries about his family, the Earl went into another room, and, returning, gave the man a cheque for £100, saying, “ Take care of this, and when your eldest son is of age, present it to him, and tell him the occasion that produced it !"

We now turn to steeplechasing—a sort of hybrid amusement between hunting and racing; partaking of all the excitement and neckor-nothing character of the former, combined with the keen contests and speculative inducements of the latter, and which has, of late years, become immensely popular with sporting men. Steeplechases are now the established winter races, the fixtures for which are regarded with nearly as much interest, and the results as narrowly watched, as the gentler summer gatherings on the green turf. Horse-racing has lost none of its votaries, but steeplechasing has gained many.

A few remarks upon sporting may not be out of place :

The modern system of driving partridges, or walking them up, will, we fear, prove highly detrimental to the breeding of setters and pointers, for as their services cease to be required, so will the demand for theni be decreased. This we consider is not a move in the right direction, for a thorough sportsman, at least one of the old school, takes as much pride and pleasure in seeing his dogs work well, as he does in bagging à bird. Robert Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, is said to have trained a setter to the net as early as 1555, and other authorities of antecedent dates notice the sitter or setter as a dog used for sporting purposes. The English setter in size does not differ from the pointer, but is more loosely made. Few hunting dogs excel him in sagacily, docility, and personal attachment. In colour he is to be met with of almost every tint common to hounds and spaniels, and although "fancy prices” are given for particular colours, the qualities of the animal remain the same, whether black, white, red, or liver. The Irish setter is a large red dog of great powers, equally vigilant at the point or crouch. The valuable properties of the setter are extreme hardihood under exertion and his quickness, which enables him to go over much more ground than the pointer. Moreover, the hairy protection of the setter's feet from the sharp pressure of the ling enables him, especially in grouse shooting, to go through a long day's work, over moss and moor, mountain and heather, without injary.

of the history of the "setting dogges" Gervase Markham thus writes (and here we must remark that for the benefit of the reader we have altered his old spelling into that practised in our day): “I know that in divers places of this kingdom," writes this ancient sportsman, " setters are to be taught (so that most men of ability may have them at their pleasures), yet likewise I know they are sold at such great rates and prices, that no industrious man whatsoever (which either loves the sport or would be partaker of the benefit) but will be glad to learn how to make such a dog himself, and so both save his purse, and make his pleasure and profit both more sure and more delicate. For this I must assure all men (that buy their dogs from mercenary teachers) that evermore those salesmen do reserve in their own bosoms some one secret or another, for the want of knowledge whereof the purchaser quickly finds his dogs imperfect and so is forced, upon every disorder or alteration of keeping, to send the dog back to his first master anew to be reformed, which, drawing on ever a new price, makes the dog's certain price without end—without valuation. fault to redress, and to make every man the true master of his own work, I will show you here, in a brief and compendious manner, all the mysteries of and secrets which lie hid in this laboursome business. The first thing, therefore, that you must learn in this art, is to make a true election of your dog, which you intend to apply to this purpose of setting; and in this election you shall observe, that although any dog which is of perfect and good scent and naturally addicted to the hunting of feathers, as whether it be the land spaniel, water spaniel, or else the mongrels between either of both those kinds, either with the shallow flewed hound, the tumbler, lurcher, or indeed the small mongrel mastiff may be brought to this perfection of setting (as I have seen by daily experience, both in this and in other nations), yet is there none so excellent, indeed, as the true-bred land spaniel, being of a nimble and good size, rather small than large, and of courageous and fiery mettle, evermore loving and desiring toil, when toil seems most irksome and weary, which although you cannot know in a whelp so young, as it is intended he must be when you first begin to train bim to this purpose, yet may you have a strong speculation therein if you choose him from a right litter or breed, wherein by succession you have known that the whole generation have been endued with all these qualities ; as namely that he is a strong, lasty, and nimble ranger, both of active foot, wanton tail, and busy nostril; that his toil is without weariness, bis search without changeableness, and yet that no delight nor desire transport him beyond fear or obedience ; for it is the most perfect character of the most

the most perfect spaniel ever to be fearful and loving to him that is his master and keeper. I confess I have some excellent rare setting dogs from the low countries which have been mongrels, and I have found in them (if I may so term it) a greater wisdom, which indeed is but a greater fear, than in our land spaniels ; but comparing the whole work together, that is the labour in ranging, the scent in finding, and the art in setting, they have been much inferior to our dogs, and not able to stand up with them in the large and spacious fields, nor yet to brush through, or make their ways in the sharp thickets and troublesome coverts. To speak then, in a word, touching the best choice of this setting dog, let him be as near as you can the best bred land spaniel that you can procure, and though some have been curious in observing of their colours, as giving preference to the motley, the liver hued, or the white and black spotted; yet, questionless, it is but a vain curiosity, for no colour is amigs for this purpose, provided the natural qualities be perfect, and answerable for the work to which end you intend them.”

The pointer has been known in Great Britain some little time before the commencement of the present century, but its direct origin is involved in much obscurity. Although he retains what is taught him longer and more completely than the setter, he is not so handsome or so engaging as that dog ; his qualities are, however, too well known to require any lengthened remarks. Before we conclude this subject we would caution persons about to purchase pointers, for the dog traffic, especially that of sporting dogs, is quite as nefarious as horse chaunting. Half the advertisements that appear in the public prints emanate from a gang of swindlers. There plan is to hire a stable in some wellknown part of London, and then through the medium of the newspapers call the attention of the sporting community to “ well-broke pointers," "splendid setters,” and “perfect retrievers." Woe to the

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