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Dulverton, yet, be it the one or the other, when known it will be well supported; and once more, as in days "lang syne," the forest and moors will echo to the huntsman's horn.
Dulverton is by no means wanting in accommodation either for man or beast. Many a pleasant dinner have I discussed after a glorious day's sport, served by the worthy host of the Red Lion, which hotel has recently been greatly improved, and good stabling and good boxes are plentiful. The hotels of Linton and Lynemouth are, however, for choice; aye, none better throughout the land we live in. But I must cross the purple moors of Exmoor, and I will sketch alike its comforts as its natural charms. In the meantime I insert copy of memorial. May it still be placed in proper hands for presentation. Who better than Lord Carnarvon? Surely he must be greatly interested in the preservation of these noble animals on his estate. Let but Her Majesty's support, or that of the Royal Prince, our future sovereign, be obtained, and this glorious sport will again be pursued with unrivalled pleasure in the West.
"To Her Most Gracious Majesty the QUEEN, and to His Royal Highness the PRINCE ALBERT, of Saxe Coburg Gotha.
"THE MEMORIAL of the Members of the Devon and Somerset Stag Hunt.
"The members beg most respectfully to represent to your Most Gracious Majesty and Illustrious Consort
"That in the counties of Devon and Somerset the royal sport of staghunting has been enjoyed from a very early period, the red deer being found and hunted from their native wilds almost exclusively in those
"That the wild animals which are for the most part found in and about the forest of Exmoor (formerly a royal forest) received from ancient times the special protection of your Majesty's royal prede
"That in the year 1598, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the deer were hunted by Hugh Pollard, Esq., the then ranger, and by the succeeding rangers of the forest, down to about 150 years ago.
"That the hounds then passed in succession into the hands of Mr. Walter (an ancestor of the late Lord Rolle) and Lord Orford, foresters of Exmoor, under a grant from the Crown.
"That Mr. Dyke (from whom the Acland family took the name) succeeded Lord Orford, and pursued this noble sport for a considerable period.
"That the grant of the forest upon the death of Mr. Dyke descended to Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, the grandfather, and after his death to Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, the father of the present Baronet, and that under their liberal management the hunt attained great celebrity.
"That upon the death of the late Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Earl Fortescue, the late Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Devon, kept the hounds in their full splendour for several years, when they passed successively into the hands of several managers, and have been since, and are now, kept by subscription.
"That whilst the forest of Exmoor continued a royal forest protection was afforded to the deer thereon, and within the purlieus thereof, by several Acts of Parliament, which made the destruction of these noble animals a capital offence; but in consequence of the sale of the forest by the Crown a few years since, Exmoor became disafforested, and the forest laws ceased to operate.
"That notwithstanding the deer have lost the protection of these laws, they are still preserved in the forest by Mr. Knight the purchaser from the Crown, and by the Earl of Carnarvon, and other landowners in the neighbourhood.
"That from its royal origin, character, and antiquity, this rare and gallant sport is highly esteemed in the western counties by the nobility and gentry, to whom it affords a strong inducement to remain on their estates and expend their incomes at home.
"Your memorialists therefore beg leave most respectfully and humbly to solicit that your Most Gracious Majesty and your Illustrious Consort will be graciously pleased to vouchsafe your royal patronage and protection to the hunt, whereby security for the deer may be provided, and the ancient and royal character of the establishment restored."
(To be continued.)
RAMBLES ALONG THE TROUT AND SALMON RIVERS AND LAKES IN THE SOUTH OF IRELAND.
"See, see! the shooting verdure spreads around!
It is a glorious, a glad sight, to see the springing grass again. After eleven months' weary tramping over the hard flags of London, it is new life to find the elastic spring of verdure under your feet. The snows of Winter have departed, and the burnt appearance caused by the cold easterly winds of March and April, has given place to a lovely lively green. The grass is everywhere springing through the russet mat in which its roots have slumbered through the long winter, and the sun is quickening the mysterious principle of life in every living thing. On the edges of the banks of the rushing river exultant Spring is raising its verdant banner to welcome the Summer that is treading in its footsteps. The warm showers of April have descended, and the daisy-clad meadows produce a pleasing effect for the pencil of the painter. It is a charming scene to look upon-Nature's carpet spread out everywhere, girdling the lake, fringing the stream, bordering the woodland, and receiving the shadows of tree, and shrub, and flower, that lie nowhere so beautifully as on the fresh green grass. And what so tasteful a border
to the walk, the carriage drive, or the flower bed, as the green turf? No country residence is complete without the lawn or grass plot.
Here, in Ireland, once more on my native sod, with rod in hand, I will woo health to my side, and return with renovated constitution to smoky London. If those who are in the habit of paying an annual visit to foreign countries would, for one year, pay a visit to Ireland, to admire its wonders and its beauties-the Giant's Causeway in the north-the caves of Ballybunnion and the lovely Lakes of Killarney in the south-they would find a charm of woodland, mountain, lake and river in Ireland unsurpassed in Europe. As a fishing country Ireland has long been justly renowned there are few rivers in which salmon do not abound, and the smaller stream and its lakes are literally overstocked with trout. Few impediments are offered to the sportsman. Free leave to fish on all rivers is the rule in Ireland-preservation of a few spots the exception.
Another year has rolled away since I last visited these streams. Another of those distinctly marked periods by which we measure an existence and chronicle events, is numbered with those that have preceded it since the commencement of time. In the future these years appear to us lusty and long-full of promises and freighted with enjoyments; but when gone, they sink into the dim past, and are soon lost in the night of ages with which they are now mingled.
I sit down this year, as I did last year, to chronicle my fishing experiences in my native land. I will endeavour to lead my reader along with me into green pastures and beside pleasant streams. I will recount my battles with the noble salmon, or my success in capturing the wary trout. It is a labour of love, and I shall be well rewarded if I receive this year from the critics of the press the same meed of praise which last year they were kind enough to bestow on my "Month's fishing in Ireland."
I arrived in Cork on the 9th of May, per the good steam-ship "Sabrina." commanded by that excellent sailor and most accomplished gentleman Captain Stevelly. On my voyage I was lucky enough to fall in with some excellent company: I do not speak of excellence in reference to aristocracy of birth, but of mind; and I enjoyed my passage over the St. George's Channel, which was as "calm as an unweaned child," most heartily. Amongst the passengers were Mr. C―, of the Cork Branch Bank of - and Mr. B―, an old friend. There was also a newly-married couple, who certainly enjoyed one another's company completely, and to the entire exclusion of everyone else. The "bride was a little indisposed; not sea-sick, but queerish; and the bridegroom was attentive, more and more, as she became more squeamish, until at last, having run through the two first degrees of comparison in the attentive line, he became "most" attentive. I remarked to Mr. C― that it was really very annoying to see the gentleman actually, as our friend Wright says, in Domestic Economy, "a slobbering of her. "Oh! my dear sir," said C, "let him alone; he will get tired of that game by-and-bye. He puts me in mind of a friend of mine who was married some thirty years ago to a very pretty young woman, with whom he afterwards did not lead a very happy life. When I saw him after some years, I said, there was a change in his feelings towards Mrs. Yes, said he; would you believe it? the first three
months of my married life I so loved and doated on Mrs. - that I thought I actually could eat her, and ever since I have bitterly regretted that I did not.' Nothing seems to me so mawkish or silly as a man fondling his wife, or any other woman, in the presence of other people.
I enjoyed this little tale, and booked it; but really so it is in life. After a while, some men cease to spin the thread of love-cease to be the spider, and become the fly; the net is woven, but they leave it after capturing what they sought, and then go a-gipsying the remainder of their lives. Not so others! In the hearth and the threshold of home theirs is the possession of a common past. Theirs is a memory shared with those loved-a partnership of heart that is never dissolved; a sentiment that gives to those words "we" and "ours" a bright and warm significance-bright, warm, and welcome even as the May-day of '58, that saw me steaming from Bristol to my native city.
To a stranger, especially a Londoner, Cork must appear a most unbusiness-like city. At six o'clock every evening, winter and summer, the principal shops are closed; at seven o'clock all are hermetically sealed. The early-closing, and, I will add, late-opening movement, is carried out here in perfection. Even with the shop full of customers, the shutters are put up at ten minutes before six, and at six precisely all must leave the premises, and the doors are closed. I made it my business to inquire from several parties what was the effect of this, to me, strange resolution of the shopkeepers. Did they find a falling off in their receipts, or otherwise? The invariable answer was that they received quite as much money in the shorter hours, as when they kept open two or three hours later; that the inhabitants who require to purchase, knowing they could not be supplied after six o'clock, provided themselves with what they wanted before that hour; and that the blessing of home was not only enjoyed by fathers of families, who were the proprietors of the establishments, and resided in the country, but also that those employed by them had the opportunity of devoting their evenings to the exercise of their mental accomplishments or improvement of their health by recreation.
With a bias towards the old times when I served my apprenticeship, when my hours were from six in the morning till nine at night, I confess I was an unbeliever in all I saw around me. But I cannot
pass over history; I must declare the benefits that evening hours have done for Scotch mechanics, who had only ten hours' toil. One of the best editors the Westminster Review could ever boast of, and one of the most brilliant writers of the passing hour, was a cooper in Aberdeen. One of the editors of the London Daily Journal was a baker in Elgin. Perhaps the best reporter of the Times was a weaver in Edinburgh. The editor of the Witness was a stonemason. One of the ablest ministers in London was a blacksmith in Dundee, and another was a watchmaker in Banff. The late Dr. Milne, of China, was a herd-boy in Rhyne. The principal of the London Missionary Society's College at Hong-Kong was a saddler in Huntly, and one of the best missionaries that ever went to China was a tailor in Keith. The leading machinist on the London and Birmingham railway, with £700 per annum, was a mechanic in Glasgow. Sir James Clark, her majesty's physician, was a druggist at Banff. The late Joseph Hume was originally a sailor, and afterwards a labourer at the pestle and mortar in Montrose; and Mr. McGregor, the
M.P. for Glasgow (of Royal British Bank notoriety), was a poor boy in Rossshire. These are facts, palpable and undeniable; and I trust that another generation of my townsmen will produce and boast of similar evidences of the golden fruit to be obtained by studying hard in those hours so generously given them by the present Cork employers.
The day after my arrival in Cork (May 10th), I started for the Bandon river. I took the rail to Bandon, and a car to Bagster's Bridge, about three miles further up on the river. I then fished down through Lord Bandon's park to the town, and had some excellent sport. My nephew, Mr. Briggs, was with me, and our count at Innoshannan station in the evening was five-dozen-and-four. I took, on this journey to Ireland, a complete new set of tackle with me from Farlow, 191, Strand-rod, flies, lines, and basket, all new; the latter I chose for its size, and Farlow said, "You surely do not mean to say you will fill that in one day's angling." I wish he had been with me that day. He would have seen it well "chocked up" to the cover, and not room for a minnow to fit in, unless he wished to make a cake of it. The basket, if it could speak, would have complained more than once of the great inconvenience it was put to by overpacking.
I think I hear some of my readers say, "Aye! this is all very well in fishing in a preserve, as, of course, the river in Lord Bandon's park is strictly preserved.' Not a bit of it! With true Irish liberality, his Lordship does not prevent any respectable person from angling in his demesne, and any of my English readers who will pay a visit to Ireland, and is fond of the pastime of the rod and line, may fish away to his heart's content there. I had a long chat with his gamekeeper and fisherman, who complimented Mr. Briggs on his proficiency in the gentle art, and said, what I knew myself, that "he never met a gentleman better able to coax the trout out of the Bandon." The worms did the most effective work this day; but with a palmer (black), as a tail fly, and a brown wren and grey coghlan as droppers, I counted a dozen and a-half out of the evening's muster.
The fisherman who visits this river may take up his quarters in the City of Cork. The railway will take him to the river in an hour, and he can return at night by the same conveyance, and be in Cork at nine o'clock. The hotels in Cork are excellent. The Imperial, in the South Mall, is a first-rate establishment; but for comfort and cleanliness none exceed the Royal Victoria Hotel, which is part of the Chamber of Commerce in Patrick Street, and where the charges are as moderate as the most economical can desire. The following are the expenses of eating, drinking, and sleeping :
Breakfast, with eggs 1s. 6d., with steak 2s. Luncheon, from 1s. to 1s. 6d. Dinner, according to order, from 2s. to 3s. 6d. Tea, 1s. 6d. Bed, 2s. Servants, 1s. per day. The spirited proprietor has recently established a table d'hôte, as on the continent; a large newly-finished drawing-room is set apart for this purpose. It is intended as a general saloon for ladies and gentlemen, who can thus avoid the expense private setting-room, and dine together at a stated hour. Although this may not suit anglers, whose hour for dining is a mystery in the morning, which only the progress of the day can develope, yet tourists will find it a great convenience.
The weather was not favourable for salmon fishing when I arrived in