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precipice; and the entrance to the little path, which ascended from either side upon the brow of the rock, was concealed by a screen of birch and hazel, beneath which the banks were covered with primroses, wood-anemones, and forget-me-not. Bowers of honeysuckle and wild-roses twined among the lower trees; and even in the tall pines above, the rose sometimes climbed to the very top, where all its blossoms, clustering to the sun, hung in white tassels out of the dark-blue foliage. There the thrush and the blackbird sang at morning and evening, and the owl cried at night, and the buck belled upon the Torr.-Blessed, wild, free, joyous dwelling, which we shall never see again!"

A lovely place indeed must that have been in the pleasant days of summer! We do not wonder at the fondness with which the Stuarts speak of that lodge in the wilderness, reared as it was in the midst of the most beautiful and romantic scenery which exists within the compass of the seas of Britain, or, for aught we know, elsewhere. Years have rolled by since we last set foot upon the banks of Findhorn; but never shall we forget the glories of that deep ravine, or the noble woods of Altyre, still possessed by the descendants of the princely Comyns. Did we not expect to be summoned out within half an hour to contribute to the safety of the realm by breaking the head of a Chartist, we should ourselves launch out into description, and try conclusions with Horatio McCulloch. But, after all, it would be a work of supererogation. Mr. St. John has already illustrated most charmingly that abode of the faithful; and he will not be displeased to see that, even in painting, he has met with formidable rivals. Rarely, indeed, have we met with anything so perfect as the following sketch:-

Near Slui on the Findhorn there is a range of precipices and wooded steeps crowned with pine, and washed by a clear and rippling stream of the river, through which there is an excellent ford, very well known to the roe, for escaping to the woods of Slui when pressed by the hounds. This reach is called the Ledanreich, from a remarkable craig, a sheer naked even wall of sandstone, lying in horizontal strata eighty or ninety feet high: at the eastern extremity of this rock there is a

great division, partly separated from the main curtain by a deep woody slope, which dips into the precipice with little more inclination from the perpendicular than to admit of a careful footing. In the face of the divided craig, the decomposition of the softer stone between the courses of the strata has wasted it away into narrow galleries, which, passing behind the tall pillars of the pines growing from the rifts and ledges, extend along the face of the precipice, veiled by a deep tapestry of ivy, which spreads over the mighty wall of rock, and hangs from shelf to shelf over the covered ways. Beyond the craigs, the bank of the forest, an abrupt steep, covered with oak and copsewood, slopes down to the river, its brow darkened with a deep-blue cloud of pines, and its descent carpeted with moss, primroses, and pyrolas, here and there hollowed into quaint 'cuachs,' filled with hazels, thorns, and giant pines. Along this woody scarp, and through its thick copse, the roe had made narrow galleries, which communicated with the ivy corridors on the face of the craig, to which there were corresponding ways upon the opposite side. In that fortress of the rock, for shelter from the sun and flies, and seclusion from the stir of the world during the day in the heat of summer,the red-deer and roe made their secret haunt, concealed behind the deep dim veil of leaves, unseen and unsuspected in the cool hollows of the cliff. The prying eye might search the craig from below and the beaters or the woodmen might whistle, and whoop, and shout above, but nothing appeared or moved except the gray falcon, which rose channering out of bank was so abrupt, that to the front view the rifts. Above the craig the wooded there was no indication of a slope, and any who passed quickly over the brow was immediately out of sight. At each descent beyond the extremities of the whole range of rocks there was a common roe's run and pass, which was supposed to be 'deadly sure' if the deer took the lieved to be an infallible barrier against path, since the precipice below was beany intermediate escape. Often, however, when pressed upon the terrace above, the deer neither went through the passes nor turned against the beaters, but vanished as if by magic-nobody could tell where; and it was the common opinion of the drivers and fishermen, that, when forced near the river, they threw themselves over the craigs for spite,'-a belief often confirmed by old Davie Simpson, who declared that he had often found their bodies beneath the rocks, and in the Cluach, the Clerk's Pool, and the Furling Hole.' He did not, however, relate what wounds they had, and the truth was,

that those which disappeared at the brow of the Ledanreich dashed down the sudden dip of the bank between the precipices, and turning through the ivy corridors, went out through the copse galleries upon the other side, and either descended to the water or skirted below the pass, and went back into the forest. Those which were found dead, were such as had been mortally wounded at some in-wood pass, and, unable to take, or cross the water, had died on the beach, or been carried down by the river. In the same mysterious passages which gave concealment and escape to the stags and bucks, the does were used to lay with their kids, and from thence at morning and evening they brought them out to pluck the tender grass upon the green banks beyond. Often from the brow above, or from behind the ivy screen, we have watched their 'red garment' stealing through the boughs, followed by their little pair drawing their slender legs daintily through the wet dew, and turning their large velvet ears to catch every passing sound upon the breeze as it brought the hum of the water, or the crow of the distant cock-now trotting before, now lingering behind their dam, now nestling together, now starting off as the gale suddenly rustled the leaves behind them-then listening and re-uniting in a timorous plump, pricking their ears, and bobbing their little black noses in the wind, then, as the doe dropped on her knees in the moss, and laid her side on the warm spot where the morning sun glanced in through the branches, they gambolled about her, leaping over her back, and running round in little circles, uttering that soft, wild, plaintive cry like the treble note of an accordion, till, weary of their sport, they lay down at her side, and slept while she watched as only a mother can. No marvel it was that they loved that safe and fair retreat, with all its songs and flowers, its plenty and repose. All around was sweet, and beautiful, and abundant, such as the poetical imagination of the painter can rarely compose, and never, unless like Salvator he has lived in the wilderness with its free denizens. Upon the summit above the craig there was a broad and verdant terrace surrounded by ivied pines and feathering birches, and upon a little green glade in the midst grew two of the most beautiful objects ever produced by art or nature. These were a pair of twin thorns exactly similar in size, age, and form, and standing about three yards from each other: their stems as straight as shafts, and their round and even heads like vast bushes of wild thyme, but each so overgrown with ivy and woodbine, that their

slender trunks appeared like fretted columns, over which the thorny foliage served as a trellis to suspend the heavy plumes of the ivy and the golden tassels of the woodbine. Many a 'ladye's bower' we have seen, and many a rich and costly plant reared by the care of man, but none so beautiful as those lonely sisters of the forest, planted by His hand in His great garden, where none beheld but those for whom He made it lovely-the ravens of the rock, the deer who couched under its shade by night, and the birds who sang their matins and their even-song, out of its sweet boughs."

shall never reach the hill, and as yet If we go on quoting at this rate, we we have not started from the hut. To say the truth, we are in no hurry, and neither, we suspect, upon many occasions were the Stuarts, indomi table huntsmen as they are. though at night the river swept with What the sound of thunder below, making the solid rock vibrate to its deep foundation,-what though the wind swept mightily down the ravine, swaying the trees like saplings, and threatening to tear them away,-what though the windows of heaven were open, and the deluge came down, and the bark of the hill-fox sounded sharp above the roaring of the water and the wood,-yet within that little bothy that rests upon the face of the craig, the wearied huntsmen slept peacefully; and in the morning, says one of them,-"I was awakened as usual by the whistle of the robin in the bird-cherry, and the sharp note of the blue bonnet sharpening his little saw on the top of the holly. I went out to the narrow terre-plain over the craig. The wind was gone, and the dewy grass the flood-torrent of the sun smiling on the still leaves and river dancing and laughing in its light, and the calm bright air breathing with the sweet perfume of the damp plants, and all the freshness and fragrance of the forest wilderness." We back it against the forest of Ardennes !

Every true hunter is humane. What! you say-do you call it humane to persecute the unfortunate stag, the monarch of the wilds, to the death?

to drive rifle-bullets into the target of the harmless roe? to murder otters by the dozen, and to slaughter seals.

by the score? Indubitably we do. Let us reason a little upon this. Yesterday, you recollect that you dined upon very juvenile veal, smothered in a mess of dingy vegetable matter which we apprehend to have been sorrel, after the beastly fashion of the Gauls. Posterior to that, you devoured the larger moiety of a duckling. This morning we saw you, with our own eyes, regaling yourself at the club, between the intervals of muffin, with what assuredly were cutlets of lamb. After all this, can you have the face to stand up and defend your own humanity? For how many days had the sun dawned upon that luckless calf, the mangled fragments of which upon your platter rather resembled the rags of a kid-glove, than food meet for the stomach of a Christian? How long had the feeble quackle of a Draco been heard round the row of peas near which he unsuspiciously perambulated, little dreaming how much the pods thereof were mixed up with his future destiny? How many races were run upon the meadow by that perished daughter of the sheep? Three infantine lives cut off simply for your sole gormandizing! This is but a slight case. Set you down to a rook-pie, and you will engulf a dozen unfortunates before you bury your visage in the pewter. Pay for you at Blackwall, and the white bait will disappear by the thousand. It is in vain that you attempt to shift the atrocity of your inordinate appetite from your own shoulders to those of the grazier, the butcher, the poulterer, or the fisherman. Cobden, or Joe Hume, or any other of the political economists belonging to the tribe who would starve the workman in order that they may guzzle themselves, will tell you that invariably the demand regulates the supply. You, therefore, are the responsible party: the young have fallen into your Scylla-the immature of days have been swept into the vortex of your Charybdis! Moreover, if you were a sportsman-which you are not

our minds would be grievously troubled for the future safety of the singing-birds. Welford, the friend of Bright, as we all remember, proposed a grand crusade throughout Britain against the feathered tribe; and you

are not at all unlikely to join in a general St. Bartholomew of the sparrows. Do you venture to retort upon us? Do you think we take life unnecessarily, or that we are base enough to use our weapons until the quarry has reached its prime? No calf or fawn ever fell by hand of the genuine hunter-no cheeper or pout ever sullied the interior of the sportsman's bag. Not until the better part of his life has been run,-till his muscles are hard as iron, his slot deep, and his branches towering on the beam,-not until he has lived and loved, do we strike down, as if with lightning and painless death, the great hart in the middle of the wilderness. But to all innocent things-to the harmless indwellers of the forest and moor, the true hunter is a guardian and a friend. The strong man is ever brave, and none but the strong can pass to where the herds of the mountain dwell.

One more scene at the Hut, and we shall illustrate this subject further.

sembling the Peri Paribanou's cell, or the "But though our bothie was far from rerock-palace where the old kaiser keeps his court in the bowels of the Unterberg we loved it, not only for its bucks and stags, and all its greenwood cheer, but for the love of nature by which it was surrounded. Beyond its 'vert and venison,' there was a world of life and interest for those who had the eye to mark, and the heart to read its book. On every side we had companions; from the passenger which came from Norway, to the little native guest-the robin which roosted in the holly bush above us. · The robin ?' -you smile and say. Yes, there was but one. He lived in the bush, as we lived in the bothie, and we were his neighbours too long not to be very well acquainted. conformable to the minuteness of their His species, as well as all the small tribes, range and habits, are very local, and may be found all the year in, or near, the same place; and those who feed them will rarely wait many minutes for their appearance. There were many robins which lived about the bothie, and all were continually in its vicinity, and very tame; but none so gentle and grateful as our little neighbour in the holly. They would, however, enter the hut, sit on the bed or the table, and hop about the floor, and, when I went out, follow me to the brae. They liked very much to see me turn up the soil, which always provided them with a little feast; ac

cordingly, they were never absent at the planting of a shrub or a flower; and when I brought home, in my shooting-bag, a tuft of primroses, pyrolas, or lilies of the valley, they were always in attendance to see them put into the bank. For watching my occupation, they preferred something more elevated than the ground, but not so high as the branches of the trees, which were too far from the earth to give them a clear sight of what I turned up; for their accommodation, therefore, I made little crosses and crochets, and, when I was planting, set them up beside me, moving them as I proceeded from place to place. Each was immediately occupied by an attentive observer; and, whenever an insect or a worm was discovered, one of the nearest darted down and caught it, even from between my fingers, and disappeared for a few moments under the rock or behind the great holly, to enjoy his success undisturbed. At his disappearance his place was immediately occupied by another, but at the return of the first it was amiably resigned by his successor. The blue-bonnets were almost as numerous as the robins, but they never arrived at the same intimacy and confidence. They never entered the bothie in my presence, and even when I fed them they would not approach as long as I remained outside the door; but as soon as I went in they descended four or five together, chattering and fluttering about the entrance, peeping in at the little window, and stretching their necks as far as they could to see where I was, and if all was right. Then they would begin their breakfast on what I had left for them, talking a great deal about it, but occasionally ogling the door,in a manner from which I concluded that there was but small esteem or gratitude in their conversation.-Far different was the friendship of our little neighbour in the holly. In the morning he used to come down and perch on the arm of the bird-cherry, which stretched over the precipice before the door, waiting for its opening and the preparation of the breakfast, which he always shared; and when we were seated he would venture over the sill, and gather the crumbs about the table at our feet. Often when the

first blood-red streaks of the autumn morning shone like lurid fire through the little window, we were awakened by his sad and solitary whistle, as he sat on his usual branch, his jet-black eye cast towards the door, impatient for our appear ance. Many of his little cousins there were in the wood, with whom we were also well acquainted, and between us happened many an incident, which increased our interest and familiarity.

I remember a day, one of those deep still blue days so solemn in the forest; the ground was covered with a foot of snow, and all the trees were hanging like gigantic ostrich feathers; but all the world was blue,-the sky was a sleeping mass of those heavy indigo clouds which forebode a 'feeding storm,'-not a tempest, but a fall of snow; for, in Scotland, snow is called' storm,' however light and still it falls; thus, in tracking the deer, we say he has brushed the storm from the heather;' and a 'feeding storm' is when the clouds are continually feeding the earth with its velvet pall. The reflection of those deep-blue clouds cast a delicate tint of the same colour over the whitened world. I was standing with my back against a huge pine-one of the old remnant of the great forest of Moray, which had, no doubt, heard the bell toll for the first Stuart earl.-I counted the rings in a smaller tree which once stood in the same hollow; Ishunned its wreck as I would have avoided a corpse which I could not bury, and always, when I passed near it, averted my face; but one day running to cut off a buck, and just heading him, I dropped on my knee to receive him as he came out from a mass of junipers, and when reloading, I found that I had knelt by the stump of my old friend.-I counted two hundred and sixty-four rings in his wood!-how many earls had he seen ?-Well, I was leaning against his elder brother, as I suppose by the size. I had been there for a long time, waiting to hear the dogs bring back a buck from-I don't know now from where. As I had been through all the swamps, and stripes, and wet hollows on that side of the forest, and waded through two and three feet of snow-wreaths, my kilt and hose, and, as it seemed, my flesh was saturated to the bones with 'snawbree,'and I began to beat, first one foot,and then the other,to quicken the blood, which was warm enough in my trunk.-I had scarce commenced this exercise, when I heard a little tic!' close to my ear, and the soft low voice of a bird-a sound, neither a whistle nor a chirp, but which 1 knew very well before I turned and saw the robin, who sat on a dry branch within a yard of my cheek. I guessed what had brought him: he was very cold, his ruffled back humped as round as a ball, and his tail drooping almost perpendicular with his legs, as if it was a little brown peg to lean on, like that on which the travelling Tyrolean merchant rests his pack. He looked at me with his large black eye; then, with a flirt of his tail and a bow with his head, indicated that, if I had no objection, he should like to descend to the place which

I occupied; the object of which he expressed, by turning his head sidelong, and directing one eye into the black earth which my foot had beaten bare in the snow. I immediately drew back a couple of feet, and he instantly dropped into the spot of mould, peeped and picked under every leaf and clod of earth, and, when there was nothing more, hopped up on the guard of my rifle, on which I was leaning, and, turning his head, looked at me with his upper eye. I again stepped forward, and recommenced my foot-exercise, during which he returned to his branch, examining my progress with some impatience. As soon as my foot was removed, he again dropped into the hollow, and busily collected all the little grubs and chrysales which, though too small for me to see as I stood, I knew abounded beneath the sere leaves and thatch of moss and sticks. In this manner I repeated his supply several times, on one of which, when I was too long, or he too impatient, he dropped from his perch, and hovered over the space in which my foot was at work, and, as I continued, lighted on the point of the other shoe, and remained there, peeping into the hollow, until I withdrew my foot, and then descended to finish his repast. When he was satisfied, he ruffed his feathers, looked up sidelong to me, and, after a shake of satisfaction, resumed his perch close to my head, and, after pruning and oiling his feathers, mounted another branch higher, and opened his little throat with that most sad, sweet, and intermitting warble which gives such a melancholy charm to a still winter's day."

suppose that we had killed her 'marrow;' but I was careful not to disturb her haunt, for she was very fat and round, stepped with much caution, and never went far to feed. Accordingly, when at evening and morning she came out to pick the sweet herbs at the foot of the brae or by the little green well in its face, I trode softly out of her sight,and if I passed at noon, made a circuit from the black willows, or thick junipers, where she reposed during the heat. At last, one fine sunny morning I saw her come tripping out from her bower of young birches as light as a fairy, and very gay and 'canty,' but so thin, nobody but an old acquaintance could have known her. For various mornings afterwards I saw her on the bank, but she was always restless and anxious-listening and searching the wind-trotting up and down-picking a leaf here and a leaf there, and after her short and unsettled meal, she would take a frisk round leap into the air-dart down into her secret bower,and appear no more until the twilight. In a few days, however, her excursions became a little more extended, generally to the terrace above the bank, but never out of sight of the thicket below. At length she ventured to a greater distance, and one day I stole down the brae among the birches. In the middle of the thicket there was a group of young trees growing out of a carpet of deep moss, which yielded like a

down pillow. The prints of the doe's slender-forked feet were thickly tracked about the hollow, and in the centre there was a bed of the velvet fog,' which seemed a little higher than the rest, but so natural, that it would not have been noticed by any unaccustomed eye. I carefully lifted the green cushion, and under its veil, rolled close together, the head of each resting on the flank of the other, nestled two beautiful little kids, their large velvet ears laid smooth on their dappled necks, their spotted sides sleek and shining as satin, and their little delicate legs as slender as hazel wands, shod with tiny glossy shoes as smooth and black as ebony, while their large dark eyes looked at me out of the corners with a full, mild, quiet gaze, which had not yet learned to fear the hand of man: still they had a nameless doubt which followed every motion of mine-their little limbs shrank from my touch, and their velvet fur rose and fell quickly; but as I was about to replace the moss, one turned its head, lifted its sleek ears towards me, and licked my hand as I laid their soft mantle over them. I often saw them afterwards when they grew strong, and came abroad upon the brae, and frequently I called off old Dreadnought

Take a picture of the roe, and you will hardly doubt the humanity of our sportsmen. But why talk of it thus? No one, we hope, save a member of the Manchester manufacturing school could feel otherwise-certainly not a genuine hills-man; and we quote the passage simply for its extreme beauty and perfect fidelity to nature. No creature is more beautiful than the kid of the roe-deer, especially when seen in their rest or moving through the ferns, on a summer evening, beside their gentle mother the doe.

"In the bedding season the does retire into the most secret thickets, or other lonely places to produce their young,and cover them so carefully that they are very rarely found; we have, however, deceived their vigilance. There was a solitary doe which lived in the hollow below the Bràigh-cloiche-leithe in Tarnaway. I

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