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plating the mighty works of God in scenes of the most magnificent character, where grandeur, beauty, harmony combine to bespeak the glorious power and the inexhaustible mercy of Him who framed them. Scenes so far remote from the strife and the turmoil of men's busy baunts, that in reposing among them, a gentle spirit might almost manage to forget that the world is at war with God and with itself: might realize the coming blessedness of earth when that unnatural warfare shall cease; when the wolf and the lamb shall dwell in peace together, and none shall hurt or destroy. We do not wish to darken the shades by dwelling too long on the lights of the picture : suffice it to say that under some influence of which we know nothing, the royal lady was induced to consider one thing wanting to complete the fulness of enjoyment in tbis lovely and magnificent spot. What that was we cannot say, for we are unable to find a word rightly to express it without giving offence. Sport we will not call it; but by such a perverted term we believe it was spoken of by the evil advisers of our Queen.
When the graceful deer, wild in all the gladness of their mountain liberty, and gambolling more in playfulness than in fear, before the steps of men employed to drive them to the slaughter, or stalking in majestic grace, pursued their leisurely way into the snare-when these, being thus brought within a secure aim, were shot by the Prince Consort, under her Majesty's eye, there was at least this consoling point, that the lovely and noble victims were slain outright, and slain also for food ; and probably with far less suffering than the other animals, sheep and oxen, that are cruelly goaded over many miles of highway road, and finally slaughtered in the city shambles. The gratification attending the spectacle of a death-struggle in any creature whatever, and more especially in that most splendidly beautiful creature the stag, we cannot appreciate : as a matter of taste, or a matter of nerve, or a matter of science, or a matter of triumph, we are wholly inadequate to judge of it. As a matter of necessity we have witnessed it; we have witnessed DEATH, and we know that, so far as bodily suffering is concerned, so far as the extinction of glowing life, and the substitution ofgrim and ghastly death goes, there is a similarity in its accompaniments calculated to impress with awful emphasis the humiliating truth on man's reluctant mind, that he and the creatures whom he slays are brethren of the dust; formed from the same material elements, and to them, in sad equality, destined to return. Still, as regards the poor stag, death by a gun-shot wound is so far, so very far more merciful than the savage hunt, that if venison must be had, we pass no censure on the man who thus brings down the noble creature by a sudden, and it is to be hoped an instantaneous stroke.
But, unhappily, we have worse things to record ; painful, revolting, and such as we must and we will present in a truthful aspect to our readers, lest by any means they should overlook the danger of pleading bigh human example for an act in itself irreconciliable with their relative duties in softening and restraining the harsher propensities of man, and in mitigating the sufferings of those helpless creatures that are unable to plead for themselves.
The otter is a poor little timid animal, about two feet in length, with a long tail, and an odd, but
harmless physiognomy. It dwells in excavations, and supports itself as man does, by preying on creatures weaker than itself. Fish are its most congenial food ; and in default of these it will invade the poultry-yard rather than starve. being a plunderer, men are justified in destroying it; and a merciful man will do so in the briefest manner; but it is not of mercy, alas! that we have now to write. We will not give the narrative in our own words, lest haply we might invest with a touch of pathos a plain description : we take it yerbatim from a daily newspaper, as furnished by some privileged reporter, who seems to have entered heartily into the-must we say royal SPORT?
Lord ABERDEEN's otter hounds baving been here for some days, and there being no chance of any otters being found in this part of the country, an otter was this morning brought over from Kelso. It had been sent for from Lord John Scott, who arrived at the castle this morning. Orders had been given to accelerate all the usual movements of the household, in order that the sport might be seen as early as possible. At a few minutes after nine, however, a heavy rain began to fall, and it was feared that Her MAJESTY would not be able to go out. Apparently, however, Her MAJESTY has learned to disregard all such inconveniences, and accordingly the orders were not countermanded. Sandy Macara was sent on to the outer gate with the pony, and Her MAJESTY and the PRINCE drove out a few minutes after to the spot from which the otter was to be started. Lord Charles WELLESLEY, Lord GLENLYON, and the Hon. Captain MURRAY attended Her MAJESTY on horseback; and the Earl of ABERDEEN,
Lady CANNING, and Lady Caroline Cocks, also proceeded to the waterside in another carriage. Arrived at the spot, Her MAJESTY mounted her pony, although rain was pouring heavily at the time, and prepared to witness the sport along the banks of the stream. Lord GLENLYON held the pony, and the Hon. Captain MURRAY held an umbrella over Her MAJESTY. The otter was started at a point under the hill of Tulloch, in the Garray water, a few hondred yard above the village of Blair Athol. The PRINCE followed on foot close on the hounds, which hunted the otter a short distance up the river, affording pretty good sport, until at length, in about twenty minutes after the first start, he took to the land, and was seized by one of the hounds. The huntsmen took him off, and flung him back again into a deep pool. He darted to the other bank of the stream, where he earthed. Unearthed again by the huntsmen, and started afresh, he gave the hounds some trouble for about ten minutes longer, when they killed him, and he was speared in the usual way by the huntsmen. The otter, when fairly spent, crawled up the bank near where the Queen was, and the hounds of course were upon it. Her MAJESTY turned away her head while they were worrying the animal. The whole hunt was confined within a comparatively short distance, in order that Her MAJESTY might be better able to follow the sport throughout, and perhaps, on the whole, the hunt afforded a good specimen of the general characteristics of a scene so rarely seen by natives of the south. It is questionable, however, whether the otter, after so long a confinement in a close box, could have preserved the requisite spirit to afford a thoroughly fine hunt. The PRINCE and the
gentlemen of the suite, and the others who were present, followed the sport very keenly, and the scene was exciting in the extreme, from the deep baying of the hounds, the shouts of the huntsmen, the occasional yell of a dog that got a bite, and the anxious faces and rapid movements of the distinguished spectators.'
Ladies of England! would to GOD there were in you a heart to approach the throne of your Queen with a supplication that she would banish from her royal presence the pernicious advisers who led her into, who did not dissuade her from, an act like this. We have marked by the type two or three passages that it curdled our blood to read. The poor, terrified, tortured little creature, evidently a tame one, brought from its native retreat, long enclosed in a box, in dark, and debilitating confinement, was turned out into the dazzling light of day, in a perfectly strange place, amid the shouts of men, the baying of dogs, the wild clamour of its many cruel and most unprovoked foes. It was soon exhausted ; it left the water, and yielded itself to the eager jaws of a dog that would have dispatched it, but SPORT enough had not yet been afforded to her Majesty, and a MAN wrested the bleeding little trembler from its fangs, and flung it back into the water. Again it sought refuge on the opposite bank : again it was torn out of the earth.-Oh what a spectacle must it have presented then !-and pitched once more into the water; and then what did it? As though some pitying spirit had guided the creature, it crawled up the bank to the feet of its Queen! Did it know that a word from the Queen would have rescued it?
We do not, we cannot, we dare not pursue the