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in a disc of metal, in a spiral form, which enters the We returned nearly to the spot where we first ground on the principle of the screw, and when it landed, then passing behind Portland Castle, we found has entered a clay or sandy bottom, resists alike ourselves in the town of Chesil. Never was there upward or downward pressure.
such a quaint old place; it looked the more venerWe appeared to be about thirty or forty feet above able perhaps from the fact of its being built entirely the then level of the tide; the sea was intensely green.. of stone-in some cases, even the roofing was of stone: There is something singularly beautiful in that peculiar this tended to give it a gray and uniform appearance ; colour-rightly called 'sea-green:' as we looked down, added to which, there was not a tree or shrub to be it was like a mass of emerald quartz, 80 bright, clear, seen. The town runs some way up the hill, on either and crystalline. There is always a fascination in side of a street as steep almost as a roof. At one angle gazing upon the mysterious sea, and its restless of the road, you look down the chimneys of houses motions and throbbing tide-pulses. It would be whose door-steps you had been level with a few difficult to say what pantheistic dreams we might minutes before. Climbing laboriously up the hill, the not have indulged in, in our human sympathy for view opens before you; and now, for the first time, the ocean, had we not been startled out of all senti- you see the whole long line of the Chesil beach; the mentality by the thundering approach of a train, western bay lies at your feet, stretching far towards which made the whole place tremble, and ourselves Devonshire. The prospect at this point is highly likewise, so near it seemed to be upon our heels. We picturesque—the precipitous road, with its continentalhad no intention of disputing the order of precedence, looking old town, and to the left, broken and rugged 80 drew aside while the heavily laden trucks, and cliffs, ending abruptly in the sea. lastly, the engine, passed us by.
On gaining the summit, the first thing that struck We saw other trains advancing in rapid succession, us was the stone-carts, which are rude and primitive, and we followed to the scene of action. We shortly and the wheels of solid wood, enormously thick. We arrived at the extreme point which the staging has yet easily found a guide to the stone-quarries, which, it attained, nearly a mile out to sea. The lines of rail should be observed, are not those used by government, way are occupied with the passage of trains which which are not shewn except by an order from the arrive every few minutes; each engine propels five secretary of state. trucks, which are severally loaded with about ten tons We found the quarries in full work. It seems that of stone. The space is left open between the rails, so the Portland stone was first brought into repute in the that when the truck has come to the right point, the time of James I. It was employed in the erection of man in charge has only to touch a lever at the bottom, the banqueting-house at Whitehall; St Paul's Cathedral, and the whole load is immediately let fall into the water. Blackfriars and Westminster Bridges, and the New
But the effect is not to be described in these few Royal Exchange, are also built of this stone. "The words of bald description, and simple statement of the annual quantity now shipped is between 30,000 to mechanical-arrangements. It was a sight not soon to 40,000 tons.' be forgotten. Imagine yourself standing on what was Dr Buckland, Sir Henry de la Beche, and others, apparently, though not really, a frail and slender have made observations upon the geology of Portland. framework, which shook violently beneath the heavy It appears that the ‘dirt-bed,' as the workmen call it, roll of the engines and their trains, as they came up to is the depository of the fossilised trees. This stratum discharge each its cargo of fifty tons of stone, which rests upon the (“good') Portland stone, which, again, falls with the roar and dash of an avalanche into the has beneath it, according to Buckland, compact, chalky seething, surging flood beneath. The breaking crash of limestone with chert,' and 'sandy limestone with chert, stones is soon lost in the sullen reverberating plunge, also rubbly beds with chert.' “The latter description,' and in an instant the rocks are swallowed by the says Mr Coode, “is the most exact;' and he adds: “The whelming waters, which fling back in triumph a cloud character of this chert or flinty matter, which contains of feathered spray; then the boiling tide subsides vast quantities of shells, and chiefly of the Trigonia, into rippling quietude, till again lashed into fury by is entirely different from the chalk-flints.' another cataract of stones. And so goes on this battle The dirt-bed, we were told, is about thirty feet in between art and nature; the capacity of the sea at thickness, and in it are found the fossil trees of the first appears inexhaustible, but at length man is cycadeoidex in great numbers. "They are partly sunk rewarded by seeing the ledge of rock growing beneath in black earth,' says Mr Webster, "and partly covered his patient assiduity.
by superjacent calcareo-silicious slate; from this slate, The average breadth of this foundation is 260 feet; the silex to which the trees are now converted must but the breadth of the breakwater at the top-ten have been derived.' Some observations of the late feet above highwater-mark--will be 23 feet 6 inches. Andrew Crosse are pertinent to this matter; he says, About 400 workmen are employed on the breakwater in a paper on Change: “The island of Portland full of and on the works generally, besides 800 to 1000 fossil trees-trees whose body is converted into silica convicts who are entirely occupied at the quarries. and chalcedony. This is the work of ages, and the
If the same rate of progress continues to be observed, probable cause electric transfer, by which the silica the breakwater will probably be completed in three quits the soil, and is drawn up through the pores or four years from the present time.
of wood.' Sir Roderick Murchison, in his Silurian As we retraced our steps, we stopped frequently to System, thus describes the cycadæ as “a beautiful class admire the wonderful appliances which mechanical of plants between the palms and conifers, having a science has brought to bear upon all engineering tall straight trunk, terminating in a magnificent crown difficulties. Thanks to the great politeness of Mr of foliage.' And Mrs Somerville, in her Physical Coode, the head engineer, we were allowed to see the Geography, remarking on the great changes which the model of the breakwater, and also to examine a very earth has undergone, observes of the politic series : interesting piece of apparatus, of his own construction, Plants allied to the zamias and cycades of our tropical a self-registering tide-gauge, which indicates every regions, many ferns and pines of the genus araucaria, wave that breaks upon the shore.
characterised its vegetation; and the upright stems of In the premises of the office is a remarkably fine a fossil tree at Portland shew that it had been covered specimen of a fossil tree, some thirty feet in length, with trees. Covered with trees and plants, now the sight of which made us determine to lose no exclusively the productions of tropical climes-we time in examining some of those interesting remains repeat these words with awe: what thoughts rush upon of a former world in situ ; accordingly, we procured a the mind as we contemplate this single fact! Now, carriage to take us to the top of the island.
on this sterile rock, a few stunted trees and shrubs
hardly find means of existence. In that mysterious they find a house in the country to suit their tastes past, waving and luxuriant foliage decked the scene as to locality and convenience. Rent cannot be said with rare forms of beauty. In Sir H. de la Beche's to be a secondary object with these gentry-who are Geological Researches, he traces the probable history of generally well connected,' and what the estate agent the portion of England of which this is a part. We calls desirable'-for it is not an object at all. They have not time here to linger with the geologists in are the last persons to haggle, bless you, about a their descriptions of how, in the lapse of time, after its paltry thirty guineas, more or less, for the thiree primal glory, the dirt-bed became an estuary of the months; the question as to whether the stable manure sen, or brackish lake, where the mud, possibly, of some shall be regularly fetched as usual by Farmer Stubble, vast river deposited its remains of terrestrial and fresh or not, is of no sort of consequence to them; they water creatures, and subsequent deeper depression of beg I will not apologise for the rather worn appear. the area gave opportunity for the deposition of marine ance of the drugget on the back staircase; as to the fossils. So go on these marvellous alternations of entrance-gate being indifferently hung, so that it level; step by step, we may, and do learn to decipher sometimes has to be lifted before one can open it, more and more of the wonders of the pre-Adamite they would not care three farthings should there be world. Such reflections read as a good moral to the no entrance-gate at all. Why should I say three plaudits of this self-glorifying age. When we build farthings, since money, much or little, seems never leviathan ships, throw chains which bind continents to enter into their thoughts. They are come down together, and pulsate with human thoughts; when we into the country to retrench, and all their modesty stay the ocean with a boundary, and turn the most requires is a roomy furnished house in a pleasant subtle forces of nature to our bidding-let us not neighbourhood, with a little park-land about it, and forget the unnumbered ages of change which this the use of a kitchen-garden-gratis. finite globe has seen; and beyond all, remember the It is very easy for the reader to say: 'This is nonmetaphysical questions which regard time and space sense; a man can't be expected to keep up a countrythemselves but as conditional truth.
house for the gratuitous entertainment of strangers,'
when he is expected to do it, as I am, year after year: MY COUNTRY-HOUSE AND ITS TENANTS.
or to ask me why I don't make them pay, when I can't ||
make then. Goodness knows that I have been too I AM the proprietor of Wythrop Place, Wythrop, shamefully treated by this class of persons, to have any Hampshire: the Place' being of course not any delicacy about employing the very cruelest means to long row of ghastly plaster-of-Paris-pillared edifices exact my dues. May I have another country-house built by three men and a boy in a fortnight, as one upon my hands, if I would not have used torture, reads of in the rule of three, but a respectable had the constitution permitted it, upon more than one mansion in the country; and I only point this out of these wretches; but there is no redress to be got because I once received an answer to an advertise- anyhow. Often and often, I have set the machinery ment addressed to me at 14 Wythrop Place, a mistake of the law in motion against them; and we all know which I do not wish should occur again.
how much it costs to start that ingenious contrivance, Living at the Place myself, for any length of time, and how exceedingly difficult the fly-wheel of it is to is, however, out of the question, since I possess a stop; but nothing ever came of it, except an attorney's brewery more than ten miles away from it, which bill. My tenants have generally taken their departure requires my constant supervision, and my object, to the continent about a week before their term is up; therefore, of course is, to get somebody else to live they write from the south of France or Northern Italy, there. I find no great difficulty in the matter, so far to mention casually that their rent must 'stand over as obtaining tenants; but where I fail is in convincing (over what, I never could make out; certainly not them that they ought to pay me rent for it. One over me) for a little ; but to insist particularly upon would really imagine, to judge from their demands some work-bag of Berlin wool, or carved wooden paperupon me, and their repudiation of my demand upon cutter—which they have inadvertently left behind in them, that the obligation lay upon the other side. the right-hand drawer of the table in the back dray. There is a story afloat of a great theatrical manager ing-room-being forwarded to them at once with the —that is to say, of the manager of a great theatre- greatest precautions against its being lost. They are in connection with his treatment of dramatic authors, anxious enough about their own trumpery property, which strikes me as affording an excellent parallel and speak of it in terms which would lead you to to the case of myself and my tenants. The author imagine that it was a hostage, if necessary, many arrives by appointment at the manager's place of degrees above the value of their debt. One very business. His five-act tragedy has been accepted; gentlemanly tenant of this kind wrote to me from his only doubt is whether he shall ask for it three a fashionable watering-place, where he intended to hundred guineas, or four. 'Your piece, sir,' the great reside for the winter months, to say that he had been man admits, 'is fine; the situations are striking; the much pleased with Wythrop, and would make a point bad characters are sufficiently bloody, the good ones of recommending it to his friends. That individual spotless as can be desired; and the general sentiments I did manage to lay hold of. I would have spent my are in accordance with public opinion. Therefore, all entire patrimony rather than that man should have I have to say to you is : What will you give me to play been suffered to escape my vengeance. I would have il?' Similarly, it would by no means surprise me violated any law, foreign or British, and had him should a person of easy manners and gentlemanly kidnapped, wheresoever he had betaken himself, and address call upon me any day, and, after allowing securely handed over to other of my myrmidons as that Wythrop Place was elegantly furnished, com- soon as he touched English soil, before he should have modiously arranged, and fit, in every respect, to gone unpunished. After expending about twice the accommodate himself and family, should finish his money that was owed me, I lodged this scofing wretch, eulogium with: “And now, sir, what will you give 1 say, in the county jail. Very likely you may have me to live in it?' I lave had to do with numbers heard of it; the provincial radical newspaper had a of candidates for my country-house who certainly critique upon the matter next week, headed : • Wythrop entertained that view, if they did not express it, of Place and its Owner ;' wherein it was first shewn that the relation of landlord to tenant ; people, who, all aristocrats were blood-thirsty and heartless; and, having resided in fashionable furnished apartments secondly, that I was not an aristocrat by any means; in town during the season, languidly turn over the concluding with some disparaging and excursive autumn leaves of the Times advertisement-sheet until | remarks upon my beer. Moreover, since I had sued
my enemy for rent for the weeks which he had passed cover all their bills; and he wrote me a letter to that in iny house, and not for the quarter only, I subjected effect, which had this very singular postscript:'P. S. myself to an action for false imprisonment, and was I think it right to state, sir, that I look upon my glad to pay fifty pounds to be out of it.
present misfortunes as being in some sort a judgment As for putting in an execution or seizing for it, upon me for demeaning myself by going to your what is the use of that with such tenants as mine. I house to dinner-to a brewery: none of my family, no only cut my own throat ; execute myself and seize Ricketts, from time immemorial, was ever before mixed upon my private property, with the exception of such up with anything connected with trade.' And this prizes as the work-bags and the paper-cutters. All annoyed my dear wife not a little, who, I am sorry to the wealth of this sort of tenant seems to consist in say, is rather thin-skinned about our celebrated tap. wearing-apparel, of which they have large quantities, The house at Wythrop is certainly unsuited to one of but which it is not legal to make prey of; at all my calling ; but it was left to me and one generally events, I seldom get anything. I never made more takes what is left to one without apology—by my than one capture with even a tolerable success, and great-uncle, who never took to me kindly, and who, as that one was upon the chattels of Tilly Ricketts, I am now convinced, carried out his animosity to the subsequently described in the Insolvent Court as being very last; the unforgiving old gentleman, broken in of no profession, and no certain dwelling-place. His health, moribund as indeed he was, actually extended baptismal name was Chantilly, but I called him Tilly his resentment beyond the grave, in leaving me his for short, and because I got to be tolerably intimate house in the country. He well knew, for he was a with him. He was a bachelor and a sporting person, man of business, that it must needs be a hundred and having, indeed, been unfortunately attracted to the fifty pounds a year out of my pocket at least, and his Place by its convenience for hunting purposes; and malice has been more than gratified. made nothing of riding ten miles to dine with us at There are respectable tenants to be got, of course; the brewery and returning in the evening. He would but these are in reality more expensive-they certainly arrange in a playful manner, orer the dessert, to take more money out of my pocket-than the people have a cask or two of strong beer sent down to the who don't pay. There is scarcely anything in the Place, from our famous tap; and he would pay for house that suits them; and where anything does, they it, he said-satirically, as I am now aware—when he are clamorous to have more of it. There are only paid the rent. He came upon every occasion on a two arm-chairs in the dining-room,' complained one of new horse, and generally attended by a little pack of these iniportunates: 'where, I should like to know, is hounds. For Tom and Bob—two small but most my mother-in-law to sit?' And more tables' was set ferocious terriers-he said he had refused five-and-down laconically by another among a number of items thirty guineas. I thought he was a fool then, of of things wanted, just as the nabob demanded his course, but I have now quite a different opinion of more curricles.' The pump is out of order, or the Chantilly Ricketts. He possessed a pony, Leporello, roof lets in the rain; the park-palings want renewal, which he affirmed to be by far the best pony then extant the drawing-room carpet is wearing into holes; the in this country or in the world at large—I never knew well runs dry, and requires to be dug twenty feet any body with a pony, by the by, who was not pre- deeper in the summer-time; and the cistern bursts in pared to affirm this—and he had been tempted, in the winter. Every new tenant has his new grievances, vain it seemed, to part with this animal also for some and every season its particular array of wants and astounding sum.
repairs : nor does it by any means follow that I bring I rode over to Wythrop once during the latter the Place to perfection after all, for the improvements portion of his residence there, and found the house that have been effected at a great expense to please turned into little better then a kennel.
one incomer, are the very things, perhaps, which smoking a cigar, with his two favourite dogs, in the induce his successor to demand a reduction in the drawing-room—not that they were smoking just then, rent. If tenant-right in Ireland means anything like although they could do it, for I have seen them myself what it has meant at Wythrop Place, it must be one sitting up with pipes in their mouths, upon their hind of the most impertinent dictations which it ever legs, like Christians-preparatory to a rat-hunt about entered into the brain of man to defend. About a to take place in the same apartment. He put a stop twelvemonth ago, the greatest shock to my feelings as to my natural remonstrances on that occasion by a landlord was administered, which they have as yet saying good-humouredly: 'Well, my dear sir, I sup- experienced. I had taken especial pains to insure pose a fifty-pound note will make it all right between myself against risk with this particular tenant—if I us when I go away; and if it will not, I give you my can call a man particular who stuck at nothing-not word, you shall have a hundred; and my word is as even at felony. I had carefully eschewed the aris. good as my bond :' which indeed it was, exactly. tocracy and the sporting circles, and had selected my
The butcher, or the grocer, or the baker, or a com- man from among the honest and steady-going canbination of these--for he owed everybody-put Tilly didates of the middle class; he was a City man of the into jail without my assistance; but I, as landlord, very highest respectability, who did not know a foxhad of course the first choice of his goods. Two hound from a barrier, which he pronounced without horses--for seizing which I sustained actions from the 'h'; and he was, to conclude, a drysalter, and his their legitimate owners, who had only lent them to name was Stubbs. The estate-agent referred me to Mr Ricketts upon trial—the celebrated pony, and the this gentleman's own place of business in London, brace of wonderful dogs, fell to my share. I was as a guarantee of his solvency; and, indeed, it was a shaking my fist at these latter animals, intending, magnificent establishment. Moreover, the good simple however, the gesture to apply to their master rather fellow had never put his nose in a country-house than to themselves, when the more savage of the two, before, so that he would not have known what was Thomas, flew at ny thigh, and was disengaged from wanting, even had not everything been as complete as it not without great difficulty ; while the pony ate his it was. This model-tenant kept a most respectable head off, or nearly so, for weeks in my stable, and was cob, which was supplied with hay from my own rick sold with his canine friends at last for fourteen at a very moderate cost, for I am not the man in these pounds. All this time were Tilly's creditors appealing sort of cases to be left behindhand in liberality. If to me to see them righted, instigated thereto by the there had been a breath of suspicion, which there, of incarcerated Mr Ricketts himself. He told them that, course, was not-regarding Mr Stubbs's honesty, one with his priceless Leporello in my possession, I had glance at that cob would have left its proprietor spotabsolutely become his debtor to an extent that would less and unsullied. It seemed, as Tilly Ricketts would
have said, to have been got by Respectability out of been almost fruitless; no splendid bags have resulted; Decorum, and to answer in itself for the unimpeach- the Highland shelty has had no great burden to carry able integrity of breeder, trainer, owner, and all that home to the quarters in the glen. Mile after mile of had had anything to do with it. Mr Stubbs was wild mountain heath has the wearied sportsman trod elected churchwarden before he had been my tenant in vain. Mountains have been skirted, bogs forded, five months, entirely upon the merits of that cob.
One afternoon, my eldest son, who is a sharp lad, or still more cleverly avoided, but the crack of his and has been admitted as a partner into our concern,
gun was unheard, and the health-giving breeze brought being up in the City about hops, thought he would no scent of the bird. The silence remained unbroken just take a look at the establishment Stubbs & by the whitter of the mountain partridge or the cry Company, to see how matters were going on in that of the moorfowl; vast spaces of heather and gorse quarter. Imagine his horror when he saw the shutters stretched before him into the far distance, and thouup, and · To Be Sold' in great, staring characters all sands of acres were wearily scanned with the glass, over them. 'I thought, father, said he, 'when I read and as wearily measured by the foot, but scarcely a these words, that they would have some application to us.' And so, in truth, they had. The very day shot could be had; or perhaps—as at Dunmaglass and preceding his London failure, Mr Stubbs and family Aberchalder—a shooting-party of four gentlemen, left their country-house at Wythrop for I-wish-I. practised sportsmen, might bring down-five and a could-find-out-what-place. He previously committed half brace! The fact is avouched by the Morning the felonious act of selling my entire hayrick, and Post early in August. "Grouse killed on the Dunmawalked away with the proceeds; he rode away, that glass and Aberchalder Hills, Inverness-shire, August is, upon the respectable cob; and is now, I have little 12—Sir H. de Trafford, none; Captain F. Scott, one doubt, upon the strength of it, church warden somewhere else. All I know of him or his, is this: I brace; Mr J. S. Entwistle, four brace ; Mr A. de had the pleasure of reading in the Times newspaper Trafford, one bird.' But even at a still later part of of September last, the following announcement, which the season—that is, in November-grouse continue as is, I think, under the circumstances, unique and cool scarce as before; and a paragraph in the Inverness even for a tenant: 'On Friday last, at Pau in the Courier, relative to the sport in Lord Seafield's covers Pyrenees, the Viscount Cavalcantissimo to Louisa, at Glen Urquhart, gives two grouse out of 906 head of daughter of Joseph Stubbs, Esq., late of Wythrop other game which had fallen to eight guns in the House, Wythrop, Hants.'
course of four days. The paragraph is as follows:
* The total baggings in four days, Tuesday, WednegWHAT HAS BECOME OF THE GROUSE ? day, Thursday, and Friday-were as follow: 254 *First of February, partridge and pheasant shooting pheasants
, 13 partridges, 40 wood-cocks, 8 black game, ends.' This is the business-like announcement in the 2 grouse, 129 hares, 438 rabbits, and 22 roe-deer. almanac, which informs those who are not addicted Our purpose in noticing the failure of the grouseto Bell's Life or the Field, that the close of the shooting in these pages is to hint that the decreasing
supplies have been attributed to wrong causessportsman's year has arrived-grouse, black-cock, and namely, disease and destruction of eggs. ptarmigan shooting having ended on the 10th of The following paragraphs, culled from the Field and December. This, therefore, is the appropriate time to a variety of other sources, will put the reader in make a few remarks on the cry of the sportsmen as possession of the common ideas as to the causes of the to the grouse and other game-birds : “Where are they?' disease. Sportsmen are not agreed on the matter. which was answered only by the iteration of the one division of the little army of disputants attributes moorland echo-Where are they? Sportsmen look heather-burning which has now become annual on
the malady (principally tapeworm) to the excessive forward with dread to the extirpation of their favourite
some of our moors; another blames the pasturage of birds; and other interested classes, including landlords, sheep as the sole cause. A gentleman of the name of game-dealers, &c., tremble for their profits; while the Grouse,' who holds a moor of 20,000 acres, says that naturalist shrinks from an impending addition to the no disease exists upon it, and that birds are very already numerous catalogue of extinct British birds. plentiful; that on the 12th' sixty brace might easily The alarm is not unreasonable: in another generation, have been bagged ; and he attributes this large stock the descendants of the industrious sportsmen who of healthy birds mainly to the ground being clear of flourished in the reign of Queen Victoria, may perhaps to admit of the production of grass for the black
sheep, and that there is no heather-burning, in order be found sighing over a stuffed grouse, or examining faces; while on an adjoining moor (only separated with regretful eye the skeleton of a partridge or by a loch), which is 80,000 acres in extent, where the portrait of a black-cock in the natural history burning is practised, and the ground overrun with department of the British Museum ; where, at the sheep, grouse are so scarce that with hard_fagging same time, if we may rely upon the prophecies of Mr he can bag only fifteen brace in a day.' It would John Cleghorn, visitors will be shewn drawings of the when sheep are in excess, which is very commonly
seem from a series of articles on the subject, that Clupea harengus, the salmon, and many other extinct the case now in Scotland on many moors, heather but recent species of our British fishes, accompanied, must be burned to a great extent to make room for in all probability, with a sermon from the exhibiter, them, and to produce fresh food, thus depriving having for its moral that pithy old proverb which grouse of shelter; and in the next place, as sheep are hints at the killing of the goose for the sake of its perpetually in motion, they constantly disturb the golden eggs. The decrease in our stock of grouse has ground, and in the breeding-season unquestionably been at intervals the cry for some years now; but the destroy nests; and in the autumn they are dressed more decided failure of the shooting-season now past with an ointment composed of butter, tar, and mercury. has reawakened public attention in earnest. In this affects the constitution of the sheep for the time, that
A question then arises-Whether this dressing so far season, our sportsmen have been unprecedentedly the soil and herbage are influenced thereby so as to be industrious in the pursuit of their destructive business. prejudicial to grouse.' Another gentleman, who disBut their efforts, so far as grouse are concerned, have | tinguishes himself as ' An Old Un,' and who seems to
have great experience in sporting matters, says: 'If ence on the subject. That overshooting is the real the laird will favour his native tenant, and make sheep cause of the decrease of the grouse, is sufficiently his primary object, and will not sympathise a little obvious even from the fact, that the rent paid for with his feathered friend, grouse will soon disappear liberty to shoot grouse and deer this season was someoff the ground, and, in my opinion, from the following where about L.200,000. But even this large sum will causes: smearing with that abominable, poisonous, cease to be wondered at, when the reader learns that offensive-smelling grease and tar; and continually 100,000 brace of each of the principal game-birdsherding five or six thousand sheep, with a team of grouse, partridge, pheasant, snipe—are required in colley-dogs.' Further, the Old Un' says: 'Let London alone, reaching the metropolis in the shape Scotland return to its natural state, as I found it in of consignments to wholesale and retail dealers, and as 1832-feeding on its grouse-portions the Highland presents to friends. If we average these as yielding black-faced sheep, in place of its foreign usurper the the sportsman half-a-crown per brace, it gives us å white-faced Cheviot. The black-faced requires less sum equivalent to about a fourth of the rental. This care, less burning of heather, less gathering and overshooting is caused to a large extent by persons driving, less grease and tar; stains the ground less; renting shooting-grounds who are unable to afford so travels less in large bodies; and with its quick eye and expensive a luxury, and who therefore shoot like light and careful tread, respects the nest and eggs mad,' as the Ettrick Shepherd expresses it, to make of his native companion.' Colonel Whyte, another up the rent-caring not whether they leave a sufficient authority, writes to the Field to say that the grouse of stock of birds to multiply and replenish the earth. It a district in Donegal, being afflicted with the tape has been said that worm, is 'confirmation strong as proof of Holy Writ'
A London brewer shoots the grouse, that he is right in supposing that in sheep-farming
And a lordling stalks the deer. and its concomitants the disease originates—especially as a Scotch sheep-farmer has lately taken possession of But while these parties can no doubt afford to pay the land!
for grouse - shooting or deer - stalking, without the In another letter, the colonel tells us that the annoyance of feeling that they must reproduce the place a grouse loves to feed on is knolly ground, with money, there is another class who make a business of the young short heather sprouting up; and this is the sport, and who bestow a large amount of hard precisely the spot the sheep selects for his nightly work on it, in order to turn it to commercial account. resting-place. Can we wonder, then, at the livers of As illustrating the system of shooting for profit, we grouse being diseased, feeding as they do on heather may state that we happen to know two humble but besmeared with mercury ? Now, these spots are rare, industrious men who followed this plan with great either on mountains wholly burned or on mountains shrewdness. These men were natives of one of our never burned-and under one category or the other Highland glens, and followed the business of what is come three parts of the Scottish hills-and, being rare, called in Edinburgh chairmen, although their title are of course much frequented by both. The of street-porters will be more generally understood. present breed of grouse in Scotland I believe to be for Roderick and Duncan had a good connection, and were the most part thoroughly broken down in constitution, well employed as messengers during the winter season, and accordingly every wet winter brings on an access when the various courts of law are in session; but as of the disease; and as weakly fathers beget weakly each returning summer arrived, the brothers found offspring, so year by year under the present system, that it entailed upon them a forced idleness of four or they will become more and more delicate.'
five months consequent upon the long vacation,' and A series of letters have also been appearing on that however busy they might have been during the heather-burning, in the Inverness Courier; we have winter, their earnings were insufficient to carry them room, however, for but one extract on the subject. over the dull months of their vacation. Having once · Veritas' thus decides in favour of the burning : or twice attended gentlemen to the Highlands for a 'I have lived among the hills a great many years now, few weeks' shooting about the glorious 12th, it came and, although neither sportsman nor farmer, have had to pass that eventually, having made careful and many opportunities, not only of hearing the subject accurate arrangements, they rented a shooting on their of grouse-disease discussed, but also of noticing the own account, and set actively to work with their own effects of heather - burning; and feel warranted in two guns, and one or two hired attendants, determined stating, without fear of much contradiction, that the to shoot the rent out of the place and a profit besides strongest and healthiest birds are invariably to be —which they did. This is only one instance out of found on moors which are regularly and systematically many. Billiard-room keepers, livery-stable keepers, burned.'
and others having strong ideas of combining pleasure We need say little about the destruction of the and business, frequently rent a moor, and of course eggs. It is certain, however, that many are destroyed take care not to lose by the speculation. It is per.
--some by accident, others by poachers, who supply fectly clear that such sportsmen as these have little the dealers with them. Grouse-eggs have been largely care as to whether they leave a stock of breeding-birds transported to England, for experiments in stocking or not; they rarely visit the same ground twice, to English moors. The Spectator newspaper, in a recent make sure of obtaining value for their money, this article, indicates still another way of disposing of the being the only side of the question they look at. No eggs : “The birds are failing, partly from a disease wonder that gentlemen following these parties think which is carrying off great numbers, but there are they have stumbled either upon 'Glendo' or 'Glentwo other causes of their disappearance. The watchers diddle.' of the deer-forests, thinking only of the antlered game, Look, too, how times are changed how steamdislike the grouse because they attract poachers, and boats and railways flash across the country and up destroy the eggs wherever they find them, and thus to town. Formerly, there were no such rapid modes abolish one form of sport to save another. But we of conveyance, and game having to be sent by the mailsuspect the worse disease under which the grouse coach at a considerable cost of carriage, smaller quansuffer is the increase in the number of sportsmen.' tities were consumed. Then the population has This last suggestion, in our opinion, points to the true increased so considerably as to produce a proporcause of the scarcity of the birds, although combined tionate demand; every year the supply augments, in some measure with the disease; and we have not because every little retailer's wife must now-a-days arrived at this opinion without much personal inquiry, have her occasional dinner-party, and of course, if it and after the perusal of a large amount of correspond- is in season, she will have game on the table. All this