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have never been inured to face such difficulties. They will place their feet against the front of the precipice, and dart some fathoms from it; with a cool eye survey the place where the birds nestle, and again shoot into their haunts. Sometimes the fowler will spring from the rock, and with a fowlingnet placed at the end of a staff, catch the old birds as they fly towards their nests. When the dreadful task is finished, he makes a signal to his friends above, by means of a small line, fastened to him for that purpose, and they pull him up and share the hardearned profit. The feathers are preserved for exportation: the flesh is partly eaten fresh; but the greater portion is dried for winter provision.
CECILIA. To what variety of hardships are we strangers, from the fortunate situation in which we are placed!
MRS. HARCOURT. At other times they begin their operations from below. The party set out in a boat, and proceed to the base of the precipice which they design to ascend, when the person who is to climb the rock, fastens
a rope about his waist, and takes with him a pole, with an iron hoop fixed at one end of it, to assist him in his progress. Thus equipped, he climbs, or is thrust up by his companions, to the first spot where he can gain a firm footing. Here he lowers his rope, and brings up one of the boat's crew. Others are hauled up in the same manner, and each is furnished with a rope and fowling-staff. Their progress to the higher regions is continued by the same When arrived at the heights where the birds frequent, they act in pairs. One of them fastens himself to his associate's rope, and is let down to the haunts of the birds beneath him; but when the strength of the man above is unequal to the task of drawing him up again, he is overpowered, and both inevitably perish. The boat attends, and receives the booty. These expeditions often last several days. The nights they pass in the crannies of the rocks.
SOPHIA. Nothing can be more applicable to the present subject, than some lines I read a few days ago, written by Shakspeare.
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
CHARLES. The treasures of the hawk's nest are obtained by men let down from the summits of rocks by a single rope.
CECILIA. Do you call such rapacious birds treasures? I can perceive no use in taking them. They have neither voice nor gentleness to recommend them.
MR. HARCOURT. They are less valued now than formerly, when hawking was in fashion; but there was a time, when a good hawk, of the Norwegian breed, was esteemed a present worthy of a monarch. The diversion of
hawking, which consists in the art of taking different species of wild-fowl by means of trained hawks, is very ancient, especially in Thrace and Britain. The love of this amusement prevailed amongst the ancient Britons, and descended to later times. The English nobility were devoted to it. A nobleman seldom appeared abroad without his hawk upon his hand; and the force of their example influenced their inferiors. All ranks partook of it in a degree; but the enormous expense that attended it, confined it principally to the great. In the reign of James the First, Sir Thomas Monson is said to have given one thousand pounds for a cast of hawks. Rigorous laws were imposed for the preservation of an exclusive right to this diversion. As far back as the reign of Edward the Third, it was made felony to steal a hawk, and imprisonment for a year and a day to take the eggs, even upon a man's own ground. In those arbitrary times, the poor were exposed to capital punishments, loss of liberty, and fines, for no greater crime than destroying a
rapacious bird of prey; whilst the higher orders of society, who are bound by their rank to give good examples, spent the day in the ferocious sports of the field, and the nights in the most licentious profligacy and depraved sottishness.
CHARLES. The picture you have drawn of our ancestors, places the elegant refinement of modern dissipation in the light of a step towards moral improvement.
MRS. HARCOURT. Our vices are not so brutal as formerly; but they still are vices, and by wearing a more seductive appearance, are perhaps more dangerous. Pictures throw a light upon the manners and customs of the times in which they were painted. I have seen a picture of Harold, who contended for the crown of England with William the Conqueror, embarking on an embassy into Normandy, with a hawk upon his hand, and a dog under his arm.
MR. HARCOURT. The peregrine falcon inhabits the rocks of Caernarvonshire. The same species, with the gyr falcon, the gentil, and the goshawk, is found in Scotland; and