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moors we have perambulated, has taught us to rail, with Jaques, against all the first-born of Egypt. And deeply have we often worn, that if any of those gentlemen should be tempted to hunt across Parnassus, or the demesnes adjacent, or should be detected abandoning their only proper and natural vocation of pursuing, killing, and eating the fowls of the air, the beasts of the earth, and the fishes in the waters under the earth, for the unnatural and unsquire-like employment of writing, printing, and publishing, we would then, in return for their lectures on the game laws, introduce them to an acquaintance with the canons of criticism Such an opportunity of vengeance was rather, however, to be wished than hoped; and therefore Colonel Thornton was not more joyfully surprised when, at Dalnacardoch, he killed a char with bait, than we were to detect a hunting, hawking, English squire, poaching in the fields of literature. We therefore apprize Colonel Thornton, that he must produce his license, and establish his qualification, or submit to the statutory penalty, in terrorem of all such offenders.
The Colonel's book is a journal of a tour through Scotland, which, like Agricola, he invaded by sea and land at once, and with a retinue almost as formidable. When twenty horses had conveyed the Colonel and his trusty followers from Yorkshire by Kelso to Edinburgh, and thence by Glasgow, Dumbarton, and Loch-Lomond to Loch-Tay, and thence by Dunkeld to Raits in the forests of Strathspey, they there received news of the embarkation, consisting of a cutter deeply laden with stores and domesticks, which had sailed from Hull to Forres, and had been twice saved by the presence of mind of an active housekeeper, who "in spirit outvied the men"-p. 3. On the first occasion, she discovered a leak "by the trickling of water in her cot." Imputing it, indeed, to some other cause, she prudently gave no alarm till the same phe omenon occurred in another hammock; and on a second eventful occasion, it was she who made the signal of distress, by hoisting her white linen on the oar of the jolly boat-p. 72. After a long encampment in the moors, and after visiting Elgin and Gordon-Castle, the train went by Inverness and the forts, to Inverary, thence to Dumbarton and to Edinburgh, and so home by the western road.
The performance is termed a Sporting Tour; not because it conveys to the reader any information new or old upon the habits of the animals unfortunate enough to be distinguished as game, nor even upo the modes to be adopted for destroying them, secundum artem; but because it contains a long, minute, and prolix account of every grouse or black cock which had the honour to fall by the gun of our literary sportsmanof every pike which gorged his bait-of eve y bird which was pounced by his hawks-of every blunder which was made by his servants-and of every bottle which was drunk by himself and his friends. Now this, we apprehend, exceeds the license given to sportsmen. We allow them all the pleasure which they can procure in an active and exhilarating amusement; nay, we permit them to rehearse the exploits of the field, lake, and moor, as long as the audience are engaged in devouring and digesting the spoils of the campaign: but not one minute longer. Will Wimble himself, if we recollect rightly, began and finished his account of striking, playing, and landing the huge jack he presented to Sir Roger de Coverly, within the time the company were engaged in eating it. And if a sportsman wishes to protract his narrative through close-time, we apprize him that he must provide for the auditors a reasonable quantity of potted char, pickled
salmon, jugged hare, and deerham, or be satisfied with the attention of the Led Captain. For our own part, we may be believed when we protest we would have given a patient hearing to all the Colonel's exploits if we had been admitted to partake of the dinner in his Dulnon camp, of which the following bill of fare, with many others, is given us with laudable
"A hodge podge.
Boiled trout and salmon,
Liquors-Port, Imperial, Jamaica rum punch, with fresh limes, porter,
ale, &c." P. 129.
Had we been fortunate enough to be regaled at this table in the wilderness, we would willingly, and most conscientiously have listened to every story in the Colonel's quarto-We would have caressed Pero, Ponto, Dargo, Shandy, Carlo, and Romp-p. 151 We would have wondered at the old cock and five polts which the Colonel killed out of one covey; and wondered still more at the monstrous great pike, which was five feet four inches in length (p. 86.) although the story be a good half hour's reading. Nor would we have refused to sympathize in the moving reverses of fortune experienced by this emperour of sportsmen. We would have been sorry when he fired away his ramrod, or bruised the pipe so, that he could not return it (p. 151)-sorry when his tent tumbled down about his ears (p. 154) very sorry when a drunken ferryman jumped upon and broke the fourth piece of his fishing rod (p. 52.)-and very sorry, indeed, when be rubbed the skin off his heel by the hard seam of his fen-boot. Nay, if the repast could possibly have lasted so long, we should have submitted thankfully to gape and mourn over a gig stuck on a gate-post (p. 33) over a broken trace or spring (p. 30) or over Sampson, the marvel of the highlands, abimé (as the Colonel calls it) in a bog, though upwards of seventeen hands and a half high (p. 73) In short, we aver, that, while our mouths were employed, our ears should always have been open, and that, reviewers though we be, no hawk he ever reclaimed should have been more manny. * But, at present, we are under no obligation either to be good listeners or courteous readers; for the Colonel, by the mode in which he has been pleased to communicate the above important incidents, has outraged every privilege of those to whom such valuable information is conveyed. To stuff a quarto with his personal exploits of shooting and fishing, all detailed with the most unmerciful prolixity, is a tyranny surpassing that of William Rufus, who though he turned his liege subjects out of their houses to make a park, did not propose they should pay 17. 158. for the history of his huntings; a proceeding which, in our opinion, would have justified an insurrection against Nimrod himself.
We have already said we do not find any thing in Colonel Thornton's book which is very new, even in his own department. The following im
A term in falconry, Colonel Thornton informs us, for being gentle and well broken.
provement upon fishing a lake, by hooks attached to a float, may amuse the sportsman
"In order to describe this mode of fishing, it may be necessary to say, that I make use of pieces of cork, of a conical form, and having several of these, all differently painted, and named after favourite hounds, trifling wagers are made on their success, which rather adds to the spirit of the sport.
"The mode of baiting them is, by placing a live bait, which hangs at the end of a line, of one yard and a half long, fastened only so slightly, that on the pike's striking, two or three yards more may run off, to enable him to gorge his bait. If more line is used it will prevent the sport that attends his diving and carrying under water the hound; which being thus pursued in a boat, down wind (which they always take) affords very excellent amusement; and where pike, or large perch, or even trout, are in plenty, before the hunters, if I may so term these fishers, have run down the first pike others are seen coming towards them, with a velocity proportionable to the fish that is at them.
"In a fine summer's evening, with a pleasant party, I have had excellent diversion; and it is, in fact, the most adapted, of any, for ladies, whose company gives a gusto to all parties." Note, p. 27.
This amusement may appear a little childish. Nor will some scrupu lous sportsmen greatly approve of the recipe for making birds lie, by flying a hawk over them-a mode of shooting most murderously bloody. Other Highland hunters will observe, with indignation, that the Colonel expresses a dislike of the manly amusement of deer-stalking. But these are trivial objections. What shall we say of the tone in which the Colonel speaks of his guns, his rods, his dogs, his hawks, his servants, his draughtsman, his friends, his fresh eggs, marmalade and currant jelly? what of the im portance he annexes to the breaking of a buckle, or wetting of a powder flask; what of the general orders, regularly issued with military precision, and as regularly inserted in the journal! In sooth, we will content ourselves with copying the Colonel's own account of a Highland dancing master presiding at a ball at Dalmally.
"But I shall never forget the arrogance of the master. His mode of marshalling his troops, his directions, and other manoeuvres, were truly ridiculous. He felt himself greater than any adjutant disciplining his men, and managed them much in the same manner."
We mean no invidious comparison; but Colonel Thornton, who piques himself on the pomp and circumstance annexed to a capital sportsman, admits the poor dancing master's merit in his proper department, and that he danced the Highland fling with the true "Glen Orgue (he means Glenorchy) kick ;" and we question whether the annals of his school might not afford as important and amusing information as the following specimen, taken at random from the Colonel's journal
"We ordered dinner, as we had done the preceding day, early. Tired of sitting in doors, I took my gun, and killed, hobbling about, two brace of snipes, and was returning home, when one of the pointers made a very steady point. I perceived by his manner that it was not a snipe: came up to him, was backed by the other dog, and they footed their game. I apprehended it would prove black game; not that I had seen any near here; but could not conceive what it could be, till coming into some thinly dispersed, but stinted alders, they both made their point complete; a wild duck flushed, which I fired at, and saw drop. The dogs still maintained their point as usual; and, walking on to pick up the duck, lest he should get into the drains, and give me some trouble to recover him, another rose, with which I was equally successful with my other barrel." P. 100.
We were much amused with the Colonel's recommendation to sportsmen, to keep one set of dogs for themselves, and another to lend to their friends, p. 163. It reminds us of a gentleman who kept a case of razors for the use of those who unexpectedly spent the night in his house :—it was astonishing how deeply his friends deprecated the hospitality of the
stranger's razor. We must not omit to mention, that the Colonel takes due care decently to intimate his success in a sport to which all sportsmen are partial, from Abyssinian Bruce who hunted elephants mounted on a brown horse, to the most sorry poacher that ever shot a hare at a gate by moon-light. Yet a more fastidious gallant would have disclaimed to form designs upon a wizen'd and smoke-dried Highland woman, upwards of forty-five years old," p. 128; nor do we agree in his compliments to the unparalleled silver hair of a young lady, elsewhere and more respectfully mentioned. Either the Colonel's veneration for age must be extreme, or he valued the tresses of this Highland damsel for the same reason that he admired the fur of the white hare.
We do not intend to trace the Colonel through his tour, in which we must remark, that there is scarcely a Gaelick name properly spelled. Nay, even on the plain ground of the Lowlands, he makes strange blunders. He talks of fishing in the Teviotr at Mindrum mill p. 13, when, in fact, he was at least ten miles distant from that river, which he seems to have confounded with the Bowmont, a stream that is not even tributary to the Teviot, but falls into the Till. In like manner, he talks of those "uncommonly beautiful hills, the Teviot," meaning, we think, the Cheviot mountains. p. 14. Surely this accomplished sportsman has heard of Chevy Chase. In point of style, we think a bold British fox hunter might have dispensed with many unnecessary French terms, as paliette for pallet, metier for art, jessois for jesses, and, instead of " reckoning, as the French express it, sans son hote," might not the Colonel have "reckoned without his hoste, as we say in England?"
The description of the Highland landscapes which the Colonel met with on his route are very similar to what are usually found in books of the kind, abounding in all the ang by which tourists delight to describe what can never be understood from description. The accounts of abbeys, castles, antiquities, &c. are bolstered out by quotations from Pentant and Gray. Indeed, whole pages are borrowed from the former, without either shame or acknowledgment. The poetical scraps introduced are in general from well known authors, though the following, for aught we know, may be ⚫riginal:
"See the bold falconers strain up the lingy steep,
Dash through the junipers, down the valley sweep;
When the fierce falcon cleaves the liquid sky." P. 130.
We would like to know from a hawker of Colonel Thornton's highs fame, whether falconers do actually run faster than pigeons fly; and, if they do, whether it be absolutely necessary that the verse should halt for it. We have only to add, that the engravings from Mr. Garrard's designs are pretty; and we hope this tribute of praise will console that gentleman for the fatigues of a journey, performed, like those of Mad Tom," on high trotting horses," which, according to Colonel Thornton, is the appropriate conveyance of an artist. By the way, we do not recognise Colonel Thornton's humanity, elsewhere displayed in saving a servant's life, and in attention to diminish the torture of his wounded game, in his treatment of Mr. Garrard, whom, after "gently reproaching him for his timidity, he persuaded to follow to a stone overhanging a precipice, where, had his foot slipped, it would have been his last sketch."
We bid adieu to Colonel Thornton in nearly the words of Shakspeare"Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch; Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
Between two blades, which bears the better temper;
But whether those accomplishments will qualify him to delight or instruct the publick as a writer, is a point which we willingly leave to his reader's determination.
FROM THE BRITISH CRITICK,
Adelgitha; or the Fruits of a Single Errour. A Tragedy, in five acts. By M. G. Lewis. Third edition, 127 pp. 38.
WE know not by what accident it has happened that this tragedy. the performance of which (for a benefit) we recollect, and which appears to have reached a third edition, has hitherto escaped our notice. The title of it points out the moral which it professes to inculcate; a moral certainly good, if understood in its proper sense, as warning the female sex against the first allurements to vice, and not as discouraging repentance and reformation.
Adelgitha, the Heroine, then princess of Salerno, had in early youth been seduced, under a promise of marriage, by a Norman knight, and had a son by him, whom she had bred up as an orphan taken under her charitable protection. Her paramour had died by the hands of robbers, leaving letters from her, and her picture, in the possession of a person accidentally present at his death, who proved to be the exiled Byzantine emperour, Michael Ducas. Her former errour having been, as she thought, concealed from all the world, she married Robert Guiscard, prince of Apulia, who after wards engaged in a war for the restoration of Michael Ducas. At the opening of this tragedy he is besieging Durazzo, as ally to that emperour, and Michael, who is represented as one of the blackest characters ever produced on the stage, takes the opportunity of Guiscard's absence to attempt corrupting the fidelity of his wife. Being rejected with disdain by Adelgitha, he accidentally discovers that she was the princess of Salerno, whose letters and picture are in his possession Upon this he immediately threatens her with a disclosure, unless she complies with his desires. Alarmed by his threats, yet still faithful to her husband, she appoints a meeting with the emperour in a secret place near the sea shore, hoping to persuade him to give up the letters without exacting her infamy as the price of them. During this interview he not only refuses her request, but attempts to carry her off by force, having previously prepared a boat for that purpose. In the struggle she attempts to stab herself; but being prevented by the tyrant, at length plunges the dagger into his breast, and lays him dead at her feet. She is conveyed from the spot by the young knight who was the fruit of her unlawful amour; and, on his falling under suspicion of the murder, Adelgitha, who had been the victim of remorse ever since, owns the deed, and also that the supposed assassin is her illegitimate son. Such a discovery plunges her husband Guiscard into the deepest affliction. He at first repudiates her but afterwards offers a reconciliation. The sense of her accumulated guilt is, however, so strong, that she cannot survive the discovery, and she stabs herself.
Of these materials, with an underplot respecting the mutual attachment between Lothair, Adelgitha's son, and Imma, the tyrant Michael's daughter,