Зображення сторінки

you here!'

* Tibby Shiels's! Ye's no gang a fit to Tibby's the as to whether it's a greater sin to steal at noonday than nicht. I'll warrant it's sixteen miles to Tibby's ; and in the dead o' night.' 'I cannot imagine,' answered it'll be dark afore ye get frae amang the hills. Na, na; the clergyman, 'why you should consider there is any ye maun a' tak a bed at Juniper Bank. What wad the difference in the sin, at whatever hour it be committed' guidwife say if she kenned ye gaed past the door?'

Ah, sir, I have ye noo,' replied the dying rustic with

a gleam of satisfaction. Ye're clearly in the wrang ; • But look at all these ladies!'

for he that steals at mid-day has only ae sin to answer ' Houts, never mind; we've plenty up-pittin' for the for; but he that steals when it's dark thinks to cheat hale o' ye. And the leddies, I'm thinkin', will be the God, and that makes the theft a double sin!' With maist welcome. Weel, what a strange thing to meet this delightful victory over the minister, John died in

peace. Who could resist such persuasives? The prelimni

Besides their love of polemics, the southland shepnaries were speedily settled. We sorned during the herds are great politicians, and take a considerable intenight at our friend's house. I think we got to bed some by which they carry on their literary correspondence

rest in the moving events of the day. The expedient where about twelve o'clock, after a tremendous amount is curious. There being few houses in the compass of of talking—the ladies entertaining the guidwife with their extensive walks, they have certain well-known town news, and the guidman, whose farm was half pas appointed places among the hills where newspapers toral, giving me such an insight into the subject of and letters may be deposited. By this means a newssheep, lambs, dinmonts, wethers, hirsels, wool, shep- paper or magazine will be handed on from hand to herds, and collies, that I almost felt inclined to pitch hand, and read over a district of fifty miles. These pen and paper to the dogs, and take up the trade of post-offices, as they may be called, are usually the dry

cleft of a rock, or a recess within a particular whin store farmer.

bush, not likely to be stumbled on by strangers. The sheep-farming of the south of Scotland-to give

Hogg, who spent his early years as a shepherd, has form to our gossip on the subject-is a peculiar sort of pictured many traits of this class of men--their meetthing, and is carried on orer an extensive region, by ra- | ings at night to discuss social and ethical questions, ther a peculiar sort of people. If any body has a notion their endurance of fatigue during snow-storms, and of buying land, I should by all means recommend him their generally primitive way of living. I think, howto get hold of a cluster of Scotch hills. There they are ever, that he has not recorded the manner in which the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; needing no they frequently rise in their profession. What a shepenclosing, fencing, building, draining, or any other pro- herd realises, put it altogether, may not be worth more cesses which pick the pockets of ordinary landed pro- than fifty pounds a year; yet look how he manages. prietors. Snow, rain, and sunshine are their sole ap- A free cot-house; three loads of meal per annum ; the pliances, and these nature bounteously imparts. Nor grass of a cow; peat fuel free, if there be any, and the have the tenant farmers any heavy responsibilities. A driving of coal, if there be none; and the keep of ordiconsiderable number of the farms are conducted entirely narily forty-five sheep-a pig also, kept by the guidby resident shepherds, the master possibly living fifty wife--are about the whole of it. In the country, howmiles off, and only requiring to visit his flocks at dis- ever, there seems to be a blessing in the manner of tant periods. But whether near or far away, the living. Wants are limited, luxuries are scarcely thought farmer resigns pretty nearly the whole management to of, and therefore little money is required to be given out. his shepherds. Theoretically, these auxiliaries are in Nine sheep are sold every year, as they come to perthe capacity of hired servants; but practically, they fection; and as many lambs are left to make up the are a species of subordinate partners in the concern; deficiency. The sale of these sheep, also of a certain and left so much to themselves, this becomes an indis- number of lambs, and likewise of a quantity of wool, pensable arrangement. The Scotch shepherd is an forms the cash-bringing-in principle. What is there educated, religious, and highly trustworthy being. to pay for but schooling to the bairns?'—a thing never Living with his wife in a small thatched house in omitted—and occasionally a new gown or coat; the a remote glen, and his occupation being more of the bulk of the garments being of homespun material. character of watching than working, he has a large Economy !-how badly the world would get on without share of time on his hands, becomes a diligent reader, thee! What a useless animal the man who habitually and as for power of argument on kittle points of spends all he makes, in comparison with him who keeps theology, is a fair match for a bishop. The disposition adding to the capital of society! Shepherds occasionto argle-bargle on religious topics is no doubt an un- ally rise to be farmers; and when such is the case, pleasant feature in the Scotch character; yet, after all, they usually help each other. Half-a-dozen acquaintas everybody must have his weaknesses, I should in ances will lend their whole savings to a neighbour, on cline to prefer a peasant metaphysician to a peasant the occasion of his taking a small farm; and how nothing-at-all-a shepherd whose mind keeps criticis. creditable to have to tell that these loans are usually ing all the week long on last Sunday's sermon, to a given without any kind of written acknowledgment. labourer in a smock who keeps thinking only of bacon The possession of a stock of sheep is indispensable to or beer. Talking of this, I am reminded of an anecdote a shepherd seeking employment; and whatever be the of a Scotch shepherd, which gives one an idea of the number he possesses, it is a necessary arrangement that character. A minister engaged in making a periodical a portion of them shall mingle with each flock under visitation to the houses of his parishioners, was ad- his charge, by which means he is furnished with the dressed by a venerable worthy-Noo, sir, since ye’ve strongest inducement to take care of the whole of the speered sae mony questions at me, will ye allow me to sheep on the farm. Sheep are sold in detachments speer ane at you?' By all means, John; go on.' at fairs and trysts, and always according to quality. A

Weel, then, will ye tell me whether it's a greater sin good is not mixed with a bad lot. As the shepherd's to steal at mid-day or at midnight?' How can you ask sheep are sold along with those of the farmer, and are 80 silly a question, John?' replied the minister. 'I afterwards accounted for, the shepherd has here another shall give you no answer to it.' In the course of years, strong inducement to be careful; because the more the minister was summoned to attend John on his sheep of his own which can be draughted into the good deathbed. The veteran of the hills was at the last lots, the more money he receives. On this account he gasp; but something seemed to lie on his mind. “If is as anxious as his master to improve the general breed there be anything troubling your conscience, John, I on the farm, and to secure the flocks against injury hope you'll tell me what it is,' said the minister. I or deterioration. I was curious to know how a shephave naething particular, sir, except yon question you herd is able to realise a stock at his outset in life. He never answered.' What question?" "The question commences while a boy. Employed first as a humble

niore common.

assistant on a farm, his master, by way of rewarding How far the rhyme of marrow and Yarrow' may have his diligence, will probably give him a ewe lamb; and induced poets to make the vale of Yarrow the scene of failing this present, he receives a lamb from his father. their ballads may be left to conjecture. 'Marrow' is a This lamb is his first venture. It feeds with his good Scotch word, signifying a match-any two things master's flocks, and its increase in due season is his not properly paired being said to be 'not marrows;' property. In a few years, by means of this increase, and it would seem that this was too excellent an idea and also by a rigid economy in wages, which enables in connection with Yarrow to escape poetic seizure. him to buy a few sheep, he gradually attains a full | Thanks to this, perhaps, and also to the old ballad, stock, and then payment to him in money ceases. Now Hamilton of Bangour has bequeathed the fine effusion the owner of forty-five sheep, each with a distinctive beginning, mark as his property, he feels all the satisfaction and

• Busk ye,* busk ye, my bonnie, bonnie bride, importance of having an investment liable to increase,

Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow; and which care and perseverance may improve. When

Busk ye, busk ye, my bonnie, bonnie bride, he leaves his place, he does not take his sheep with

And think nae mair o' the braes o' Yarrow.' him. His master or his successor must buy his stock Other ballads involve in their respective imagery the | of animals, and let them remain, because sheep have howms or holms of Yarrow, with the adjoining scenery, curious ways about thern, and don't like removals. Day in which some of the old Border castles still figure

. by day, for a series of years, flocks range in the same

Finally, in consequence of these poems, old and new, unvarying circle ; always coming round by the sweet Mr Wordsworth contracted a veneration for the vale low-lying pastures at noon, and nibbling their way to

a feeling so high, that he refused in 1803, during a tour the higher grounds at night. With respect to the social | in Scotland, to enter Yarrow, lest the sight of it should character of sheep, a stranger looking at a hill - side dispel the agreeable vision cherished by fancy. He conmight suppose that, dotted like white specks over it, sequently wrote his fine poem of ‘Yarrow Unvisited." the sheep had no connection with each other. Quite a

In 1814, making another tour in Scotland, he ventured mistake. They form distinct societies among them into this fairyland of poetic fiction, and commemorated selves; and those which constitute one group of ac

the result of the experiment in the kindred poen of quaintances never willingly mingle with another.

• Yarrow Visited,' commencing with the well-knoma Within the last forty years a great change has taken

linesplace in the breeds of sheep pasturing in these regions.

* And is this-Yarrow? This the stream Formerly, the small or black-faced animal was univer.

Of which my fancy cherished sal; but now, for the sake of finer and longer wool, the

So faithfully a waking dream?
Cheviot, Leicester, and other white-faced varieties are

An image that hath perished!
The old Scotch sheep may be said to

Oh that some minstrel's harp were near have been better adapted for a hilly country than the

To utter notes of gladness, heavy and refined creatures of modern days. He was a

And chase this silence from the air, capital climber, could “loup a dike' like a hunter at a

That fills my heart with sadness!' steeple-chase, and, according to my friend's account, he Entering Yarrow by the route from Traquair, we have possessed a particularly happy knack of eating whins immediately before us the farm of Mount Benger, of --prickly furze— without jagging his mouth. This which Hogg was some time tenant; and beyond, on the latter point of character, from long habit, was appa- opposite side of the vale, Altrive Lake, a house of rerently engrafted on the instincts of the animal ; for a spectable appearance, in which the poor shepherd termiyoung black-faced lamb, without instruction, would take nated his earthly career. By an opening among the quite naturally to the nibbling of whins, and do the hills in this direction, a road proceeds to Ettrick, : thing so discreetly, that it escaped any sort of injury. kindred valley on the south. In turning to the right

With such chat the night was pleasantly spent; up the Yarrow, we have an almost immediate view of and even in the morning before starting I was able to the chief beauty of the district-St Mary's Loch, a fine squeeze out an additional budget of pastoral statistics. sheet of water several miles in length, fringed with : However, the time approaches for parting; and with white pebbly beach. Passing the old tower of Dryhope, many kindly adieus, we are on our way for Yarrow. once the residence of the beautiful Mary Scott, the

The road we took was by Traquair, the ancient seat Flower of Yarrow, and the poetically as well as reliof an earl of that title, with a scattered village adjoin- giously-consecrated burying-ground of St Mary's Kirk, ing. Up the valley of the Quair, a small tributary of the drive is delightful, particularly if the day be warm the Tweed, our calash proceeded at a fair pace, passing and sunny, as it was on the present occasion. We are on our right the scene of the old lyric, the Bush aboon now in the bosom of the Vale of Yarrow; and bound Traquair, till we got immersed among the hills

, and for the general centre of attraction at Tlbby Shielsa nothing met the eye but bare round-topped mountains, we pass the opening into Meggetdale, also possessing wild and solitary. Up and up we went, till, reaching scenes celebrated in tradition and Border minstrelsy. the height of the country, we descended by a southern Pity we have no time to go up the Megget; but it is slope to the vale of the Yarrow.

approaching noon, and Tibby's cozy hostelry is now in Suddenly the Yarrow, a silvery streamlet, is seen sight, nestling among

few trees at the head of the winding down the hollow. We can at first scarcely lake. We must get on our way, for we have much understand how a thing so small , and with so little of work before us; and that vulgar affair, dinner

, even in the garniture of nature around, can have excited such a land of poetry, must be thought of. Behold us, then, a variety of poetical emotions. Yet no river in Scot- driving up to Tibby's

. Erected on a slip of meadow land, not even the Tweed, has been the theme of so land, with a small garden around, her little domicile mar many successive poems--generally, however, of a doleful be considered quite an oasis in the desert ; nor couki or pensive kind, referring to acts of strife, or appro- it have been placed with better effect. To the east priate to

stretches St Mary's Loch, while a similar sheet of water

, • The grace of forest charms decayed, the Loch of the Lowes, bounds it on the west

. No: And pastoral melancholy.'

properly speaking a public,' for Tibby would not First we have the old ballad describing an unfortunate expose herself to promiscuous intrusion by taking out brawl on the banks of the Yarrow between Scott of the license,' the establishment – a neat slated house, Tushielaw and his brother-in-law one of the Scotts of with a surprising amount of stowage—answers all time Thirlstane, in which the latter is slain.

purposes of a wayside inn ; and nowhere will the anger “Oh stay at hame, my noble lord !

or knapsacked tourist find such a place of comfortable Oh stay at lame my marrow!

repose. My cruel brother will you betray,

* Busk yedress or adorn

On the dowie howms o' Yarrow.'


• Well, Tibby, ye'll not recollect me?'

ruined abbeys of Melrose and Dryburgh, in the last of Aih, I do that,' replied the worthy dame, in the which lie the remains of Scott_and finally Kelso; the mellifluous dialect of the Forest, as she bustles forward. whole a chain of spots over a tract of twenty miles, in 'I mind o' you real weel; and I am sae glad to see you. one of the loveliest districts in Scotland. But all this Will ye a' come in by ?'

has been again and again described, and from me reNot at present, T'ibby; we are going to the Gray- quires no repetition ; 80—to draw a long story to a Mare's Tail; and you will be so kind as prepare dinner close-here ends A Day In YARROW. W. C. for us before we come back.'

• I'll do that.'
And so, with this arrangement, off we went on a

THE JAGUAR HUNTER. walking excursion to see one of the greatest natural The pioneer settlers in the southern states of America curiosities of the south of Scotland. The Gray-Mare's are often exposed to danger from the attacks of wild Tail

, be it known to those who never heard of the thing animals. This is more particularly the case in approachbefore, is a streamlet from Loch Skene, a solitary sheet ing the tropical regions. The squatters of Texas relate of water, among the higher mountains, which dashes many fearful tales of conflicts with panthers and wolves. down a rocky and precipitous ravine, and forms a water. In the states of the Mexican union, however, the ferofall of some two hundred feet. Pursuing the Vale of cious jaguar, or South American tiger, is met with, Yarrow to its extremity on the west, we descend into which commits fearful ravages among the numerous the Vale of Moffat Water, down which, at the distance herds of cattle and horses, from the breeding and sale of a mile, we ome upon the cataract. Rain had fortu- of which many large oprietors derive a princely innately been falling among the hills, and the Tail was income. I was once staying for a few weeks at one of prime order—a grand stream of foam and spray leaping these estates, where a jaguar had for some time kept from point to point in snowy masses, till it was lost in the whole establishment in alarm, and escaped all atthe gurgling abyss beneath. Loch Skene, whence the tempts made for its destruction. At last, on the return rivulet proceeds, is reckoned to be one of the gloomiest of a hunter, who had been absent on a distant expedimountain tarns in Scotland. I had visited it the pre- tion, all apprehension as to further annoyance ceased; vious summer, and will ever retain a forcible recollec- for such were the courage and skill of the new-comer in tion of its appearance silent, dark, and desolate. attacking these animals, as to have gained for him the Difficult of access, and surrounded by savage mosses name of Bermudes el Matasiete, or 'Killer-of-Seven.' On and hills, it was in its lonely sublimity a thing to be the night following his arrival, he invited me to join associated in the imagination with the fabled and inap- him in watching for the intruder, and appointed the proachable Waters of Oblivion.'

rendezvous at the Ojo de Agua, a fountain at the foot of Back to Tibby's at four. The fowls and gigot excel a slope stretching gradually away till it met the forest. lent; but a greater treat was a renewed chat with the Soon after sunset I strolled towards the place agreed good-natured hostess.

on. A tall cedar stood near the fountain, its lower • Tibby, ye'll often be rather lonely here, I suppose ?' branches dipping into the water as it bubbled away to

*Ay, we are that. Sometimes in winter we dinna the bottom of the valley. Behind the cedar rose the see a livin' cratur for three months. But we maunna knotty trunks of a group of mahogany-trees, intercompleen. There's generally plenty visitors at this spersed with flowery sumachs. On the opposite side, a time o' the year.'

little glade was formed by a cluster of ash-trees, at the * I've heard that you have sometimes as many as entrance of which I found the hunter lying at his ease five-and-thirty in a night.'

upon the grass, enjoying the coolness after the extreme "That's only about the twalt o’ August, when the heat of the day, with his blue-barrelled rifle at his side. shooters come up amang the hills.'

I congratulated him on the choice of so picturesque a • But you have not beds for so. large a number?' site for the rendezvous. 'I am delighted, he replied

• That's true; but after a' the beds are filled, they with a smile, the whole meaning of which I did not at just lie

, on the floor, or onygate. We do what we can first comprehend, that the place is to your taste, but to mak' them comfortable.'

you will see before long that it is better chosen than ! And you have been here many years? It will now you think.' be a considerable time since your husband died ?'

We had not long been seated when a second hunter Ay, it's a lang time; but Providence has aye been appeared, a tall Canadian, his rifle in one hand, and kind to the widow and the fatherless. I'm thankfu' leading a lame colt by the other. After exchanging a I've been spared to bring up my family, as it was my few words with Bermudes, he tied the limping animal duty to do.'

to the stem of the cedar by a long and strong cord, and And you always prefer keeping your own name?' then came to sit down by our side on the moss.

I was *Ou ay; folk a' ken me best as Tibby Shiels; and I at a loss to understand the object of these preparations, daresay, when I'm dead and gane, this place here will and of the fires which had been kindled in various still be ca'ed Tibby Shiels's.'

directions. On questioning the Mexican, he rose, and . I understand there' been a grand wedding over at conducting me to the edge of the fountain, showed me Lord Napier's.'

several formidable footprints in the damp soil. Those A grand waddin', indeed; there hasna been the like marks,' he continued, were made yesterday—of that I o't in Ettrick for a hunder years I daresay.'

am certain. The jaguar, therefore, has not drunk for And so we had Tibby's account of this great local twenty-four hours, and for twenty leagues round there event, with a lot of gossip besides, until it was time to is not a drop of water but what is here on the estate. depart. We did not bid good-by without regret at The fires yonder will scare the animal in that quarter ; the necessary shortness of our visit; and I feel bound while thirst and the scent of the colt will certainly to add, for the general enlightenment of mankind, that bring him here in the course of this night.' if anybody does not know what to do with himself, and The logic of this reasoning appeared to me irrecan put up with the fare of the hills, and wishes to get sistible ; and I found myself, quite unarmed, suddenly out of the reach of post-offices and other sources of ha- transformed into a tiger hunter. At first I thought rassment, he should go and rusticate at Tibby Shiels's. my best course would be to make a quiet retreat; a

Our drive down Yarrow was accelerated by the ap- mixture of curiosity and self-esteem, however, induced proach of nightfall; but a sufficiency of light remained, me to stay. The Canadian was stretched at full length as we issued from the hills at Selkirk, to show that the on the bank, snoring loudly. Bermudes beckoned me scenery had changed its character, and that we were to sit down by his side, and to pass away the tinie, gave again entering on the soft landscapes of the Tweed.me an account of bis numerous adventures. As we had Next day was devoted to a series of visits to places yet four hours to wait before the animal could be exabounding in interest and beauty : Abbotsford - the pected to make his appearance, I sat patiently listen


[ocr errors]

ing, while the hunter went on with his tale. For an Bermudes proceeded to explain that, on such an occahour no other sound save that of his voice and the loud sion, a rifle could be intrusted to those only who were breathing of the sleeper disturbed the silence. All at sure of their aim. You will roll these skins mord once the colt started and reared in alarm, and the dry your left arm,' he continued, and take the knife in bushes crackled with so dismal a sound, that I could your right hand; then you put your right knee to the not repress a shudder. Did you not hear a howl?' I ground, and rest your protected arm upon the left knee. inquired of Bermudes, who shook his head and laughed in this manner the arm defends your head and body, as he answered, “When you have once, only once, heard while your stomach will be shielded by the knee ; fur a tiger's roar, you will never again be likely to mistake tigers have an ugly habit of trying to disembowel thes for it the humming of mosquitos. In a few hours you enemy with a stroke of their paw. If you are attacked, will be as well instructed on this point as I am.' you present your arm, and while the animal's tusks are

It was a false alarm : all became quiet as before, buried in the wool, you rip him up from flank to shoulwhile the hunter continued the history of his exploits. der with one plunge of the knife.' But a second interruption followed; the colt began to • All that appears to me incontestable,' was my anutter a cry between a shriek and a moan. • Is it mos swer;

but I would rather hope that two hunters such quitos this time, I asked, that so terrifies the poor as you will not miss your tiger. For my part, I shall animal?'

hunt, as you call it, with my hands in my pockets; that * Probably not,' rejoined Bermudes. Listen!' will be more original.'

* Hold- look yonder!' I said, pointing to a young Failing the armour of sheepskins, the hunter urzed poplar that rose above the surrounding trees; “it is not me to take the knife, which I accepted. The two 2850– the wind which shakes that tree while all the others ciates then primed their rifles, and we waited without are motionless.'

exchanging a word. The lower part of the forest was * It is the jaguar,' said the hunter after a pause. “At now in profound darkness, while the little space around present he is playing the brave, but his hour is not yet the fountain was brilliantly illuminated. We were come; and for the moment he is more afraid than you sheltered by the drooping branches of a large man

Do not think, however,' he pursued, that tiger- grove, forming a kind of natural arch. Twenty pases shooting has no dangers. You will be able to judge in front reclined the colt, whose instinct was to be the how much another hour without drinking will have hunters' guide. Presently I saw the animal raise its exasperated the animal. I have seen many a brave head with evident signs of uneasiness, which were 8001 man turn pale at their frightful roar.'

after succeeded by broken cries of terror, and efforts to Having expressed my uneasiness at being unarmed, escape from its fastenings. These attempts being us my companion promised to furnish me with a weapon less, it remained trembling in every limb: a breath of when the fitting moment should arrive, and resumed terror seemed to pervade the atmosphere. All at once his recital where he had left off. But as the night grew a cavernous roar from the neighbouring heights pealed darker, the interruptions became more frequent, and by in echoes through the woods; the colt hid its head in and by a distant growl was heard, followed by a plaintive the grass. A deep silence followed: the two hunters and menacing howl. ‘I was mistaken,' said the hunter, crept from the shelter, and I heard the double click as coming to a pause; instead of one tiger there are two. they cocked their rifles. Males never attack in company; and should it be male An instant after, a terrible roar again burst upon our and female, we shall have a double warning, for Provi- ears: a form of light colour darted through the air dence, which has given a rattle to the most dangerous upon the colt, which had crouched down in terror : there of serpents to announce its approach, has also given to was a noise of crashing bones, followed instantaneously wild animals eyes that glisten in the night, and roar- by the report of Bermudes's rifle. ing voices to proclaim their attack.'

• Your knife!' he cried to his companion, who was This assertion was far from agreeable, but the danger preparing to tire. Look up ; that is for yoa !'. was still distant; the moment had not yet come when I turned my eyes in the direction indicated by Ma. thirst makes these animals forget the involuntary dread tasiete, as he took the Canadian's knife. High up which they have of the presence of man. All was again among the branches of the cedar I saw two large eye. quiet in the woods, whose gloomy depths were thrown balls shining like burning coals, watching all our morra into shadow by the moonlight. The Canadian had ments : it was the second jaguar, whose tail was lashrisen from the grass, and leaned drowsily against the ing the foliage, and beating off the dried moss from the tree, smoking a short pipe, with his rifle between his branches in showers. The Canadian stood motionless, knees. I had learned enough of the course of the stars with his eye fixed upon the two fierce-gleaming lights to know that the hour was at hand for which we had in the tree. Meantime the wounded jaguar sprang at so long been watching. Bermudes again spoke :-" It is one leap close to Bermudes, where the moonlight showed time now to think of you,' he said. “Do you not perceive the furious animal. The blood was streaming from one that the silence becomes more and more profound of his legs, shattered by the ball. Collecting himself

and that the odour of the plants has almost for a last rush, the animal lowered his head, beat the changed ? Under the influence of the night they exhale air, and howled in fury; his blazing eyes seemed to a new perfume. When you have lived longer in the expand to twice their ordinary size. Bermudes stood, I desert, you will learn that each hour of the day, as well self-possessed, on the defensive, holding his knife furas of the night, has its peculiar signification. At each wards. At length the tiger leaped ; but his muscles hour, as one voice becomes silent, another makes itself were weakened by the wound, and the hunter, stepping heard. At present ferocious beasts salute the darkness, aside, buried his knife in the monster's heart as he fell: as to-morrow the birds will salute the dawn. We are there was a terrible yell—a struggle of agony and near the hour when man loses the imposing influence of then all was over. his look-at night his eye becomes dim, while that of • Whether or no,' exclaimed the brave Matasiete, wild animals brightens and pierces the deepest gloom : “there is a skin badly torn, to say nothing of my own,' man is the king of day, but the jaguar is king of dark at the same time showing his arm lacerated by a long ness.'

gash. He had scarcely finished, when a second nas After uttering these words with a grave emphasis, was heard in the direction of the cedar: it was answered the hunter rose, and fetching a bundle from the place by the report of a rifle : a noise of rending branches, where it had been deposited, unrolled two sheepskins followed by a heavy fall, announced the skill of a praccovered with their wool, and, drawing his knife from its tised marksman. The Canadian had aimed between sheath, observed, “You see your arms!'

the glowing eyes. When the two hunters, going round * And what, in the name of wonder, do you expect to the other side of the spring, had found the body, me to do with that?' I inquired. *I hoped at least for their shouts of triumph gave me to understand that a rifle.'

the Canadian's accurate eye had not been deceived.

around us,

It was not without a feeling of compassion that I ap- tune. Thurot having agreed to this proposal, the youth proached another victim of the slayers and slain-the was fitted out at the expense of his Irish cousin, and dead colt. The poor animal lay stretched upon the sailed with him for Limerick. grass; a bleeding wound at the back of the head, and Touching at the Isle of Man, then the grand entrepôt another on its nose, showed where the tiger's claws had of the contraband trade, young Thurot became disfallen; the complete fracture of the vertebræ of the gusted with the conduct of his relative, and declined to neck proved death to have been instantaneous. Al proceed further in his company. While waiting for a ready cold and rigid, the first jaguar lay near : 1 vessel in which he might return to Boulogne, his handmeasured it with my eye, but at a distance, when the some and sprightly appearance attracted the attention two others arrived dragging the female, whose skull of a gentleman of the island of Anglesey, who had come had been shattered by the ball : this time, at least, the to Man upon some smuggling business, being extenskin was unbroken.

sively engaged in that traffic. With little persuasion, Bermudes complimented me on my courage, in what the young man entered his service. He was soon he persisted in calling tiger-hunting. I, however, dis initiated into the mysteries of the smuggling trade, and claimed anything like bravery. The hunters seemed repeatedly visited Ireland on business intrusted to him disposed to pass the night near the booty which they by his master. One whole year of this early period of had so well earned ; and preferring the open air to my his life was spent on smuggling duty at Carlingford, close chamber, I agreed to keep them company if they where he acquired a knowledge of the English language. would light a fire. My wish was soon gratified ; we At length, tiring of this way of life, and anxious to stretched ourselves on the moss near the blazing wood, learn something of his Irish relations, he set off for and before many minutes had elapsed, were sound Dublin with only a few shillings in his pocket. The asleep.

adventure ended in his being glad to engage himself as On awaking the next morning, I found the two com a nobleman's valet, in which capacity he served for panions with their shirt sleeves tucked up to the elbow, nearly two years, when some irregularities in his own and stained arms, busily engaged in flaying the two conduct led to his being discharged. He then went to jaguars. When they had completed their task, which the north of Ireland, and re-engaged in the contraband was performed with the dexterity acquired by long trade, for which his active enterprising genius was practice in similar operations, they threw the skins over peculiarly fitted. It must be said in his favour, that, their shoulders, and we all took the way to our original while his irregular education had furnished him with quarters, where our arrival was hailed with prolonged no protection against this demoralising career, which congratulations. Bermudes and his comrade received was then followed by thousands of apparently respectthe usual reward of ten dollars for each skin ; and the able persons, he conducted himself throughout all its * Killer-of-Seven' would now have to add another num- rough scenes with a degree of both honour and geneber to his surname.

rosity hardly to have been expected, and which could only be owing to his own natural good qualities.

War breaking out between Britain and France, it COMMODORE THURO T.

would appear that Thurot engaged in a privateer of his In the year 1727, at Christmas, a man named Thurot own country, and in this capacity became a prisoner of came to one of the churches in Boulogne with an infant war in England. It was in the year 1745, when Mar. to be baptised. It was then customary for ladies of shal Belleisle was about to be discharged from captirank to attend churches at Christmas time, in order to vity in our country, that Thurot effected his escape stand as sponsors for infants belonging to the humbler under extraordinary circumstances. Having left his classes. One named Madame Tallard came forward to prison, he concealed himself in the country by day, and offer herself as sponsor for Thurot's child. The cere came to a port on the southern coast at night. Here mony was proceeding, when Madame Tallard was sur his object was to lay hold of some little unoccupied prised to observe tears streaming from the eyes of the vessel in which to sail for France. Swimming about the father. She inquired the reason, and learned that his harbour with great precautions against being observed, wife, the mother of the infant, was just then receiving he came at length to a small smuggling bark, which he the last rites of sepulture in the churchyard. Touched thought well fitted for his purpose. It lay, however, by the incident, the kind-hearted lady did not leave the beside a larger vessel, to which it was attached, and it church without making the poor man a present, and had no sails. The danger was, of course, that some requesting that, if the child should live till she returned person in the larger vessel would detect him before he to Boulogne, he might be sent to see her.

could get it set adrift. Nevertheless this bold advenThurot, though now in comparatively humble life, turer actually climbed the shrouds of the larger vessel was the son of parents who had moved in a superior to possess himself of a sail; returned with his prize, set rank. His father was a gentleman named Farrell, who free the little bark, and got clear off without detection. had been a captain in the army of James II. in Ireland, In two days, half famished, yet in the highest spirits, and following the fortunes of that monarch, had become he entered the port of Calais. This strange adventure a member of his household at St Germains. There a made him an object of public curiosity; nevertheless, gentlewoman of good connexions condescended, poor as

the bark which he thought he had made his own was he was, to marry him. The displeasure of relations, appropriated for the government. Thurot was reduced the loss of employment and means of subsistence, fol to despair. It chanced, however, that the lady of the lowed. The husband came to an early grave, and the Marshal Belleisle had come to Calais to meet her huslady survived him but a few months, having first, how band, then about to be set at liberty in England. Thuever, given birth to an infant, who was taken charge of rot was introduced to her to tell his own tale. At her by her relations, and brought up under his maternal intercession the marshal took up his case, and in the

This was the father of the infant of whose his- long-run Thurot obtained possession of the vessel, totory we are now to give some particulars.

gether with the friendship of that eminent commander. Young Thurot grew up under the care of his father It is alleged that this was the first step of advancement at Boulogne. Madame Tallard continued to have a made in the world by one who was subsequently to beregard for the child, and permitted him to be the occa come a figure in history.* sional playfellow of her own son. When he was fifteen In the course of his subsequent smuggling career years of age, one Farrell, the captain of a smuggling Thurot visited Scotland. He sailed as master of the vessel, became acquainted with his father, and claimed Annie of Leith, in one voyage from Leith to London. relationship with him. This man told Monsieur Thurot that the O'Farrells were a flourishing family in Con Letters, Discovering the scheme Projected by France in 1739, &c.

* This anecdote appears in a rare book, entitled 'A Series of naught: he himself was a prosperous gentleman, and By Oliver Macallester, Esq.' 2 vols. 4to. 1767. We cannot say he offered to take charge of the boy, and make his for much for the authority, but the story may nevertheless be true.


« НазадПродовжити »