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when he crossed their warm track. Upon though the Stuarts speak of it with these occasions he would stand and look considerable enthusiasm, was never at me with wonder-turn his head from much to our taste. It is true that the side to side-snuff the ground again, to largest stags are generally to be met see if it was possible that he could be with in the wood, and we have fol. mistaken-and when he found that there lowed the sport ere now in the Speswas no disputing the scent, cock one ear at me with a keener inquiry, and seeing sart, among the pines of Darmstadt, that I was in earnest, trot heavily one and the thickets of Strath Garve; but ward with a sigh.
it must always partake more or less "The affection of the roe for their young of the character of driving, and we is very strong; and timid and feeble as never have felt while engaged in it, they are by nature, inspired by the danger that enthusiasm and keenness which of their offspring, they become brave and sends the bļood to the heart of the daring, and in their defence, will attack hunter when he first discovers a herd not only animals but men. We were one day passing along the west walk of
in the gorge of some solitary glen. Eilean-Agais, and, beyond a turn in the Then he feels that he must put forth path, heard the sound of feet running to the whole resources of his art—that he wards us, and immediately out shot a cat must baffle the acutest of all inround the corner, and, close at her heels, stincts by the aid of human cunning a doe pursuing her with great eagerness. -ihat he has a thousand difficulties Knowing that her pursuer could not over to overcome before he can arrive take her, and having no instinctive dread within reach of his quarry, and that a of her kind, the cat did not give herself single false step or miscalculation is the trouble to run faster than just suffi- sufficient to destroy the labour, the cient to keep beyond her reach, while the patience, and the vigilance of a day. doe pursued her with an angry scrambling pace, and, whenever she was near over
Great, fat fallow-deer, waxing into taking her, endeavoured to kneel on her obesity in a park, do not seem to mind back. This is a mode of attack common the approach of a human being, even to deer as well as cattle, which, when were he an alderman redolent of black. they have overthrown their object, not currant jelly. But the red-deer, as only gore them with their horns, but many incipient stalkers know to their bruise and crush them with their knees. cost, has a very different amount of At our appearance there was a pause; perception. Unless you take the wind the cat cantered up the brae to the top of of him, he is off like a shot, though a little rock, where she lay down in the sun to see what would happen between your distance may be upwards of a us and her pursuer. The doe, after a few mile. In the words of the old stalker, bounds turned round and looked indig.
“ Above all things, let not the devil nantly at us, and stamped and belled in tempt you to trifle with a deer's great displeasure; this she continued for nose : you may cross his sight, walk some moments, glancing occasionally up to him in a grey coat, or, if at the cat with a strong desire to resume standing against a tree or rock near her chase; but being restrained by a sense your own colour, wait till be walks of prudence, she slowly ascended the hill stopping at intervals to stamp and bell at his nose, even at an incredible dis
up to you; but you cannot us, who knew very well that she had two kids in the junipers upon the craig." tance, but he will feel the tainted
air. Colors or forms may be decep. Now let us up to the hill, where the tive or alike; there are gray, brown, mighty herds are feeding. Scotland and green rocks and stocks as well will, in all probability, never as men, and all these may be equivotainchel more ; indeed, save at a royal cal ; but there is but one scent of man, hunting, it were scarcely desirable and that he never doubts or mistakes ; now. The feudal system bas melted that is filled with danger and terror, away, the clans are broken and scat- and one wbiff of its poison at a mile tered, and we care not again to see a off, and, whether feeding or lying, his pageant which is indissolubly con- head is instantly up, his nose to the nected in our memories with national wind, and, in the next moment, his gallantry and misfortune. But the broad antlers turn, and he is away to deer are still on the mountain and in the hill or the wood; and if there are the wood, and we shall seek them in no green peas, corn, or potatoes, in the their former haunt. Wood-stalking, neighbourhood, he may not be seen
on the same side of the forest for a with a large plump of hinds—which he month. A word to the wise, from herded within a wide vacant circlethe lips of a Celtic Solon !
there was a mighty black hart, with a So much for your chance, if, in the head like a blasted pine, and a cluster of plenitude of your full flavour, you take points in each crown. Though each stag the bill, regardless of the currents of than ten points, there was none which
of the surrounding circle bad not less the air, which, moreover, are perpetu- approached his size, and they all kept at ally shifting But there are other a respectful distance, while he marched difficulties. Though not impossible, round and round the central group of it is very ticklish work to get within hinds. He will have them all in the shot of a deer by any other means ring before long,' said MacLellan; 'yon's save diligent creeping, and sometimes, one of the old heroes of the Monadh-liath; when the ground is unusually flat and he has not been four-and-twenty hours open, that method of approach is im- in the forest.? I looked with an eager and practicable. Then there are divers ene
longing eye at his gigantic stature. but
there was no apparent possibility of apmies—that is, of yours, for in reality proaching even the outward circle of there are scouts 10 the deer-whom stays. The herd was scattered over all you must try particularly to avoid. This the ground between the hills, and every is not easy.
Sometimes when you little knoll and eminence had its restless are sinuating like a serpent towards picquets, and plumps of discom fitted the especial stag of your heart, a stags, which had been beaten by the great blundering covey of grouse will start hart, and were chafing about, driving off from the heather and give an effectual and broding the buttocks of all the inferialarm; sometimes the shrill whistle or stays that came in their way, then reof the plover will change your antici- turning and staring with jealous disgust
at the mighty stranger, who gave them pated triumph into mourning; and no notice, except when one or two more sometimes a charge of that disagree. audacious, or less severely beaten, made able cavalry the mountain sheep, little a few steps before his companions ; upon less sagacious and wary than the deer which he immediately charged, 'drove themselves, will put the whole of the them before him, and scattered the nearglen into disorder. But the worst est in every direction. Upon these occaenemies you have to guard against are
sions, some hind of greater levity than the hinds, who are usually so disposed ing her pasture, or paying her compli
the rest took the opportunity of extendas to be out upon the feeding.grounds, ments to her companions, for which she and thus to mask the stag. In such immediately received a good prod in the a position, it becomes a point of honour haunch, and was turned back again into to circumvent the lady, which is any the centre. thing but an easy task. The Stuaris " " There is no doing anything there,' give us an admirable recollection of said I. such a scene in the forest of Glen «« 'Deed no,' replied MacLellan, shutFidich, which is so exciting that, ting up his glass, ' we be to go down to though rather long, we make no apol- the foot of the burn.' ogy for transferring it to the columns of the middle of the narrow plain, and emp
“ This was a stream which runs through Maga.
ties itself into the Fidich, about four miles
below, at the east end of the forest. Be" After about an hour's stalking, we fore resolving upon this, however, we came upon the shoulder of a long slope, made an attempt to cross the little glen to which looks into the gorges of two or the north-west; but, after passing round three short glens, opening to a narrow one hill, and nearly to the top of another, plain, on which we saw a noble sight-- we fell in with a small herd of insignifia herd of fouror five hundred deer, among cant stags, but none among them being which were many very fine stags. Af worth the disturbance of the great herd; ter having feasted my eyes with this and being unable to pass them unubserysplendid sight—the illustrious cavalry of ed, we were obliged to adopt the last the hill, the crowned and regal array of alternative, and descend to the Fidich. the wilderness—I began to calculate how In about an hour and a half we perto make the approach, how to slip be- formed this retrogration, and, having tween the chain of vidette hinds, and crossed at the forester's house, ascended numerous picquets of small stags, which the burn till we again approached the commanded almost every knoll and hol- deer, and stealing from knoll to knoll, low. In the centre of the main body, again came in sight of the herd. The
outskirts of its wide circle had been flat pebbles, and returned to their station much broken and deranged by the jousts in the middle of the stream, skulking and expulsions during our absence; and their little tails between my legs with no we saw that it was impossible to get near more concern than if I had been a forked the better stags without taking the chan- tree. At length the immobility of the nel of the stream. We immediately de- hinds began to give way: first one ear scended into the water, and crept up the turned back, then another, then they be. middle, sometimes compelled to crouch came sensible of the flies, and began to so low, that the pools reached our hips, flirt and jerk as usual, and, finally, one and, as the stones were round and slip- applied her slender toe to her ear, and pery, it was very uneasy to proceed with another rubbed her velvet nose upon her out floundering and splashing. At length, knee ;--it was more than half an hour, however, we were within the circle of the however, before, one by one, they began deer: there was not a breath of wind, and to steal away, perking and snuffing, and the least sound was audible in the pro- turning to gaze at the least air that found stillness. We slipped through the whiffed about them. At length they all water like eels, till we came to a little disappeared, except one gray, lean, hagrock, which, crossing the burn, made a gard old grandmother of hinds, who had shelving fall, which there was no means no teeth, and limped with one leg, probaof passing, but by drawing ourselves up bly from a wound which she received the shoot of the stream. With some fifty or perhaps a hundred years before I difficulty I pushed my rifle before me was born. Her vigilance, however, was along the edge of the bank, and then, only sharpened by age; time, and the exwhile the water ran down our breasts, we perience of many generations, had made glided up through the gush of the stream, her acquainted with all the wiles and and reached the ledge above. The re crafts of the hill,—her eyes and ears turn of the water, which I had obstruct were as active as a kid's, and I have no ed, made however, a rush and plash dif- doubt she could smell like Tobit's devil. ferent from its accustomed monotonous – MacLellan looked at her through his hum, and I had scarce time to lay flat in glass, and spit into the burn, and grinned the burn, when a hind sprang up within a against the sun—as if he was lying in few yards, and trotted briskly away, then the bilboes instead of cold water. — The another, and another. I thought that all old sorceress continued to watch us with was over, and that, in the next moment, out relaxation, and at last lay down on we should hear all the clattering hoofs the brow of the knoll, and employed her going over the turf like a squadron of rumination in obstinate contemplation of cavalry. All remained still, however, the bank under which we were ambushand, in a few seconds, I saw the first hind ed. There was now no alternative but to wheel about, and look back steadily to recommence our progress up the burn; wards the fall. I was rejoiced to observe and as I was determined to circumvent that she had not seen us, and had only the hind, I prepared for every inconvebeen disturbed by the unusual sound of nience which could be inflicted by the the water. She continued, however, opposite vexations of a sharp, rough, anxious and suspicious—watched and slippery, and gravelly stream. Fortulistened--picked off the tops of the hea. nately, at the place where we then were, ther-then walkedon, with her ears laid it was so narrow, that we could hold by back, and her neck and step stilting away the heather on both sides, and thus drag as stiff as if she had been hung up in the ourselves forward through the water, belarder for a week. This, however, was tween each of which advances I pushed not the worst; all the surrounding hinds my rifle on before me. In this manner we which noticed her gait gathered here and reached the turn of the brook, where I there, and stood on the tops of the little concluded that we should be round the knolls, like statues, as straight as pucks, shoulder of the knoll, and out of sight of with nothing visible but their narrow the hind, who lay upon its east brow. necks and two peg legs, and their broad This was effected' so successfully, that, ears perked immovably towards us, like when we looked behind, we only saw her long-eared bats. MacLellan gave me a back, and her head and ears still pointing rueful look. • Cha n-'eil comas air.' at the spot which we had left. One hun* Never mind,' said I,' we shall see who dred yards more would bring us within will be tired first.' The forester gave a sight of the great hart; the general posiglance of satisfaction, slid up his glass on tion of the herd had not changed, and I the dry bank, and we lay as still as the hoped to find him near the central knoll stones around us, till the little trouts, of the flat, at the base of which the burn which had been disturbed by our convul- circled. We were almost surrounded by sion, became so accustomed to our shapes deer; but the greater number were small that they again emerged from under the vigilant hinds, the abomination and curse
of a stalker. At length, however, we to turn my head, and catch a glimpse of reached the knoll and rested to take a base little gray hind, who, in crossing breath, at its foot; I examined my rifle, to the hollow, had stumbled upon us. It see that the lock was clean and dry. We was but a moment; a rapid wheel and took a view of all around us, and, drawing rush through the long grass, and I heard ourselves cautiously out of the burn, slid the career of a hundred feet going up through the heather on the south side through the hollow. I sprang on my of the eminence.-Scarce, however, had knee, and skadle a dozen small stags and our legs cleared the stream, when we dis- hinds which came upon us full speed; covered a pair of ears not above fifteen for those behind, not knowing from yards from the other side.—' Mo mhal whence came the alarm, made straight lochd ort! [My curse upon you) --whis- for the hill.. The herd were now gathpered MacLellan. She had not discov. ering in all directions; charging-flying, ered us, however, and we glided round re-uniting, dispersing, and reassembling the base of the knoll--but on the other in utter disorder, like a rout of cavalry. side lay three hinds and a calf, and I - I made a run for the middle knoll, could see no trace of the great hart. two stags, with pretty good heads, met On the edge of the barn, however, far me right in the face. - I did not stop to ther up, there was five very good stags, look at them, but rushed up the brae. and a herd of about thirty deer, on the What a sight was seen from its top!slope of the north brae. 'All round us upwards of six hundred deer were charg: the ground was covered with hinds; for ing past-before, behind, around, in all the prevalence of the westerly wind, directions. The stately figure which I during the last few days, had drawn the sought-the mighty black hart, was Hleer to that end of the forest. Upon the slowly ascending an eminence about spot where I lay, though I could only see three hundred yards off, from whence a portion of the field, I counted four hun- he reconnoitred the ground below; while dred and seventy; and it was evident the disarray of stags and hinds gathered that no movement could be made upon round him, like rallying masses of hus. that side. We tried again the opposite sars in the rear of a supporting column. slope of the knoll;—the hind which we I was so intent upon the king of the for. had first seen was still in the same place, est, that I saw nothing else.—No other but she had lain down her head, and heads, forms, numbers, took any place showed only the gray line of her back in my senses; all my faculties were on over the heather. We drew ourselves the summit of that height.- At this mocautiously up the slope and looked over ment I felt my kilt drawn gently; I took the summit. On the other side there was no notice—but a more decided pull made a small fat moss, about seventy yards me to look round:-MacLellan motioned in breadth ; then another hillock; and to up the slope, and I saw the points of a the left two more, with little levels, and good head passing behind a little ridge, wet grassy hollows between them. Upon about eighty yards away. I looked back the side of the first knoll there were two at the hart-he was just moving to the young stags and some binds; but the hill. What would I have given to have points of some good horns showed above diminished a hundred and fifty yards of the crest.— The intervening ground was the distance which divided us! He passspotted with straggling hinds, and we ed slowly down the back of the emimight lay where we were till to-morrow nence and disappeared, and the gathering morning, without a chance of getting herd streamed after him, o Chial! Ă near any of the good deer. While we de. Chial' exclaimed the forester- bithidh liberated, MacLellan thought that, by è air falbh! The stag whose horns I crawling with extreme caution up a wet had seen had come out
from behind the hollow to the left, we might have a ridge, and stood with his broad side tochance to approach the stags whose wards me, gazing at the herd; but as horns we had seen behind the other knoll, they moved away, he now began to foland, as nothing better could be done, we low. The disappearance of the great hart decided upon this attempt. The sun was and the disappointment of MacLellan regoing down from the old towers of Au- called me to the last chance. I followed chandùn, and we had no more time than the retreating stag with my rifle, passed would give light for this venture. We it before his shoulder, whiz went the twoslidaway towards the hollow, and, draw. ounce ball, and he rolled over headlong ing ourselves, inch by inch, though the in the heath, on the other side of the heather and tall thin grass, had reached knoll, which the next stretch would have the middle of the level between the hil. placed between us. I looked to the hill locks, when we heard a stamp and a short above: the whole herd was streaming up grunt close beside us—I had scarce time the long green hollow in its west shoulder
headed by the mighty of the desert.' and roe, combined with the vivid picThey rounded and passed the brow, and tures of which we have made such ample sloped upward on the other side, till the use, cannot fail to render it popular. forest of heads appeared bristling along In an antiquarian point of view, it is the sky-line of the summit. In a few also highly interesting; for it embodies moments afterwards, as the sun was going down upon Scúr-na-Lapaich, and the
a large amount of traditionary lore, far western hills of Loch Duiach, the ter. sketches of the clans and fragments rible wide-forked tree came out in the of Highland song, of much superior clear eastern sky on the top of the hill, merit to those which have hitherto and, crowding after, at least two hundred come into our hands.
The disquisiheads—crossing, and charging, and min. tions, too, upon the disappearance of gling—their polished points flashing in some animals once indigenous to the parting sunbeams, and from many a Scotland-such as the wolf, the elk, horn, the long steamers of the moss flut. the wild bull, and the beaver-exhibit tering and Aying like the pennons and bannerolles of lances. The herd continu.
a great amount of research, and supply ed to file along the ridge of the hill, and a gap which has long been wanted in wheeling below the crest, countermarch- the page of natural history. ed along the sky-line, till their heads and
One word to the authors—though horns slowly decreased against the light.” we fear our words must travel a long
way before they can reach them in a With such a book as this before us, foreign land. Why should they not we could go on alternately comment- recast and add to their second volume, ing and extracting until we had broken so as to make it a single and unrivalled the back of the Number. Even now work upon the noblest sports of the we are dying to pilfer the account of Highlands? If it has proved so fascithe late Glengarry's course with nating, as in truth we have felt it, in " Black Dulochan,” and the no less the more cumbrous shape of notes, exciting history of the three days' ruse how much better would it be if issued, with a roebuck. But abstinence is a not as an appendage to the poems, virtue which is forced upon us in the but in a distinct and articulate form? present instance, rather om the lack Perpend upon this, John Sobieski and of space than from any exercise of Charles Edward, at your leisure ; and voluntary discretion; and we shall now let us add, that we trust some of your leave the deer without further moles- more gloomy anticipations may fall tation for a season, hoping soon to en- short of reality; that the walks of counter them in person with our rifle Eilean-Agais, that little Eden of the somewhere about the skirts of Cairn- north, may again be gladdened by Gorm.
your presence; and that the sound of This is, we have no hesitation in your hunting-horns may once more be saying, the best work on deer-stalking heard in the woods of Tarnaway, and which has yet been written ; and the on the hills near the sources of the amount of information which it con- Findhorn. tains regarding the habits of the stag