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for a lost needle, and not leaving a yard of heather untried. This is the most killing system, as every practised grouse-shooter knows; but to me it is far less attractive than a good stretch across a range of valley and mountain, though attended with fewer shots. I am also far more pleased by seeing a brace of good dogs do their work well, and exhibiting all their fine instinct and skill, than in toiling after twice the number when hunted by a keeper.
• The 12th of August,' Mr. St. John goes on to observe, is, generally speaking, too early to commence regular grouse-shooting. The 24th would be a better day to appoint. The early period being only fit for those who shoot for the newspaper, as certain sportsmen seem to do whose names appear every season as having murdered some marvellous number of grouse on the 12th. One grouse in October is a more satisfactory prize to the real lover of grouse-shooting than twelve can be on the first day of the season.
Thus far, as we have shown, all has gone on prosperously with the Highland proprietor. Each renewal of a lease of his shooting-ground has brought him an increased rental. If the old tenant hesitated about accepting fresh terms, there has always been found hitherto some one with more money than-let us say
- taste for sport of any kind to succeed him. Another class of persons, that not many years since looked at a moor in Scotland from a respectful distance, is gradually ousting the original order of occupants, who are beginning wisely to consider that pleasures may be purchased too dearly. Enterprising individuals are found who take moors on speculation and live by it, farming out the shooting at so much a gun per week or month. Poulterers of Edinburgh and Glasgow rent ground, subletting the shooting and furnishing their shops with the produce. The landlord does not care who or what his tenant may be; he obtains his price.
But prices will have a maximum, and there are strong indications that this maximum is nearly attained. Any one interested in the subject may observe certain shootings advertised from year to year up to the very 12th of August, when the proprietor is sain to abate something of his extravagant demand or lose his rental altogether.
No one can question the right of the owners of Highland property to make the most of their opportunities, and deriving, as they do, a large income from their shooting-ground, it is extraordinary they do not take some pains to gain the goodwill of their tenants. It seems to be a general complaint among these
* For sound, practical instruction in grouse-shooting, we refer our readers to an admirable chapter in Mr. Colquhoun's Moor and Loch.' We have borrowed from his book one or two extracts which had reference to the state of the Highlands, but have not trespassed much on his shooting-ground, as the volume has been already noticed in this review.
tenants that their landlord never troubles himself about their interests, however well he may look after his own. And after making every allowance for John Bull's constitutional habit of grumbling, and his fancy that all countries were created for his exclusive enjoyment, we still think that there must be something of foundation for this charge, since we can safely say we have never yet heard a knot of men discussing their several experiences and comparing notes of the dealings between landlord and tenant, without our coming to the conclusion that an almost universal feeling of dissatisfaction exists—every one who has had anything to do with Scotch shootings having some uncomfortable tale to tell of his own individual wrongs.
A man, for instance, has made a place. He has built or added largely to the comforts and conveniences of the lodge-he has put up, perhaps, sleeping-quarters in distant parts of the groundhe has annihilated the vermin, and rendered game abundant where it was before scarce. His lease expires, and the heavy rent he has been paying is immediately raised in proportion to the amount of improvement he has himself brought about on the property, in the reasonable expectation of not being disturbed in his holding. It may be argued that he did all this with his eyes open, to please himself, and at his own risk; he has no right to consider himself aggrieved; he ought to have looked after his own interests as the landlord intends to do after his. There are, however, two ways of looking at such a procedure.*
Mr. St. John, again, adverting to the wholesale system of grouse-poaching carried on by the sheep-tenants and cotters, says :
* Really, considering the great profit in many ways that this bird is to the Highland landowners, it seems both their interest and duty to protect and assist sportsmen in every possible manner in preserving the game : whereas, let the matter be glossed over as it may, every lessee of grouse-shootings knows how very little assistance and encouragement he receives from nine proprietors out of ten, notwithstanding the liberal and somewhat exorbitant rents which are paid. There are, however, many exceptions to this state of things, and landlords are yet found, who identify the interest of the tenant with their own.'
Another not uncommon grievance of the tenant is, that he has been deceived by specious advertisements into taking a moor. Now, inasmuch as few men would be incautious enough to hire a residence in the South, without taking proper means, personally
* This is far from being a rare instance. The rent of a shooting wh in our thoughts when writing the above remarks, was raised 4001. at the expiration of the lease last year. The tenant left it in disgust.
or otherwise, to ascertain how far the reality corresponds with the land-agent's tempting description of the house and its dependencies, so ought the same foresight and prudence to be exercised in the engagement of a shooting-ground, and whoever blindly commits himself has only himself to blame.
On the other hand—'audi alteram partem '-we hear of tenants, in the last year of their occupancy, shooting the ground so hard as to leave scarcely a feather behind them, inflicting thereby an injury on the property which it will require years to repair. Such offensive acts as these would never be perpetrated if there existed a good understanding between landlord and tenant.
Now there are two circumstances which may happen to affect most materially the value of Highland property. The first is, that of men being driven for the indulgence of their taste for wild sports to foreign countries; the second, the possible and probable recurrence of the grouse disease in a more severe form than heretofore.
The love of salmon-fishing has induced men to look for it in a country more difficult of access than most others, where it is not easy sometimes to obtain the ordinary necessaries of life, and where no language but that of the natives will avail them to make their wants known. Almost every river in Norway, from Bergen to the North Cape, is rented by English fishers. There are many lands that offer to the lover of shooting a wide field for its enjoyment. British America abounds in every variety of game.
Corsica and Sardinia are comparatively unexplored, especially the latter island; both are rich in wild birds and large game. The highlands of Transylvania and the whole Carpathian range is a mine for the adventurous lover of wild sport. The system of letting land for shooting, as unknown now in those countries as it was in Scotland fifty years ago, would be readily adopted if any demand were created for such holdings, and another direction would be given to the energies of those who are now content to stalk deer and shoot grouse in Scotland.
The singular epidemic generally spoken of as the grousedisease threatened at one time to exterminate the bird altogether. Untraceable to its cause, like the potato-disease and the oïdium in the vine, and untreatable by any known remedy, this malady would seem now to have nearly worn itself out; but, as it is on record that a similar visitation has occurred in bygone years, so it may recur at some future period to render the shootings comparatively valueless.
Of such contingencies we devoutly say 'absit omen !' For that glorious life of the bill, who can set forth in fitting terms the sense of happiness, of contentment, it brings with it? No Vol. 118.-No. 235.
words could ever convey to him who has not tried it an idea of the singular fascination it exercises on its votaries, of the marvellous rapidity with which the passion for it grows upon them ; and it would be idle to say aught in its praise to him who has been fortunate enough to enjoy its delights. There are some persons whose life is but one round of pleasure ; even by such as these the change from Pall-Mall and the Park, or from the Clubhouse at Cowes and the Solent, to the wide moor and the homely shooting-lodge is held to be an agreeable variety, not unworthy of considerable pecuniary sacrifice and personal inconvenience for its attainment. But to the man, whose whole time and thoughts have been devoted unremittingly for many long months to the hard realities and the engrossing cares of an active business life, the transition from the whirl and tumult of the crowded city to the calm and solitude of his isolated Highland home is something more: it is new existence. His rude quarters are luxury; his hardest exercise is rest to him; his excitement relaxation ; his amusement a restorative cordial. As his valedictory address to his desk or his study, he may say, as Horace said of his loved mountain retreat :
* Hæ latebræ dulces, et jam, si credis, amonæ
7. 4 - 6 ART. II.--1. Via Appia dalla Porta Capena a Boville. De
scritta dal Commendatore L. Canina. 2 vols. Roma. 1853. 2. La Roma Sotterranea Christiana. Descritta ed illustrata
dal. Cav. G. B, de Rossi. Roma. 1864. 3. Imagine Scelte della B. Vergine Maria, tratte Dalle Cata
comte Romane. Roma. 1863. T has been often said that the English traveller usually enters
Rome the wrong way. It has never been better said than in an old book, by one who, as many men living may recollect, was held in the highest esteem and affection in the University of Oxford, Professor Edward Burton, whose early death cut him off prematurely from those highest ecclesiastical honours, which might have been commanded by his profound but modest learning, his singularly calm, yet, at the same time, singularly liberal mind. We quote the passage, in respect for his memory, and as expressing our own sentiments with peculiar force and distinctness.
. Most people picture to themselves a certain spot, from whence the towers and domes of the Eternal City burst upon their view. St. Peter's, with its cupola, the immense ruins of the Colosseum, the Pillar of Trajan, and such well-known objects, are all crowded into the ideal
scene; and the imagination is raised to the utmost pitch in expectation of every moment unfolding this glorious prospect. The traveller, after feasting upon this hope, and using it to console himself for the barrenness of the Campagna and the uninteresting uniformity of the view, approaches nearer and nearer without reaching the expected spot. His tour-book tells him that near the post of Baccano, fourteen miles from Rome, the dome of St. Peter's is first visible. This will be the commencement of his delight. But he still disregards the speck in the horizon, anxiously looking for the happier moment when the whole city is discovered. This moment unfortunately never arrives. Where that place is to be found in the approach from Florence, which affords such a feast to the eye and to the imagination, I never could discover. The view of Rome from the Monte Mario, a hill near this road, is perhaps one of the noblest and the most affecting which the world could produce : and it may be suspected that some writers, full of the gratification which this prospect afforded, have transferred it in description to their first entrance. But the road itself discloses the city by degrees. Scarcely any of it is seen till within a small distance, and then, with the exception of St. Peter's, there are few buildings of interest. The antiquities lie mostly on the other side, and are not seen at all. The suburbs themselves are not picturesque [they are mean, commonplace, like the entrance to an English watering-place), and the traveller finds himself actually in Rome before he had given up the hopes of enjoying the distant prospect of it.
· Had he entered the city from Naples, his feelings might have been very different. This is the direction from which Rome ought to be entered, if we wish our classical enthusiasm to be raised by the first view. The Campagna is here even more desolate, and to a greater extent, than it is on the side of Florence. For several miles the ground is strewed with ruins; some presenting considerable fragments, others only discernible by the inequality of the surface. It seems as if the cultivators of the soil had not dared to profane the relics of their ancestors; and from the sea on the left, to the Apennines on the right, the eye meets with nothing but desolation and decay of grandeur. The Aqueducts rise above the other fragments, and seem purposely placed there to carry us back to the time of the Republic. The long lines of these structures stretch out in various directions. The arches are sometimes broken down ; but the effect is heightened by these interruptions. In short, in travelling the last twelve miles on this road, the mind may indulge in every reflection upon Roman greatness, and find the surrounding scenery perfectly in unison. From this road, too, the whole city is actually surveyed. The domes and cupolas are more numerous than from any other quarter; beside which, some of the ancient edifices themselves are added to the picture. After entering the walls, we pass the Colosseum, catch a view of the Forum, the Capitol, and other antiquities, which were familiar to us from ancient authors.' *
* 'A Description of Rome,' by the Rev. Edward Burton, London, 1828.